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In 2020, Burberry launched its first-ever “social retail store” in Shenzhen, China, with the aim of connecting with its younger tech-savvy Chinese customers. With a store size of 5,800 square feet, the “social retail” store brings about a concept of combining physical and social worlds where a boutique, a café and a virtual store exists in one location.


As part of a partnership with Chinese tech giant Tencent Technology, which owns the messaging app WeChat, the new store will rely on a WeChat mini program developed by Tencent to create a mix of digital and walk-in store atmosphere. In 10 individual spaces within the store, customers are able to explore and experience a unique interaction that can be unlocked on WeChat. Customers can immerse themselves in the shopping experience via their phones and receive digital rewards.


QR codes are attached to each Burberry product. By scanning the QR code,

it allows:

  • Additional content such as product storytelling and photos/videos of models wearing the item

  • Book one out of the three themed fitting rooms with a curated playlist and ability to adjust the lighting.

  • Access to the “Trench Experience” - a digitally enhanced room designed to help customers create content to share on social media

  • Book a table reservation at Thomas’s Cafe, Burberry’s in-store café


For each action carried out, customers are rewarded with social currency that can be used to “evolve” their animal character, which starts out from an unhatched egg as they engage themselves with the in-store experience through the mini program. Furthermore, customers can get to enjoy exclusive menu items within the in-store café.


The launch of the social retail store will take a step towards upgrading luxury retail experience, and also reflects Burberry’s ambition to break boundaries through innovation and creativity. According to Burberry’s CEO, as home to some of the most savvy luxury customers, China was deemed as an ideal “place of discovery to connect and reward customers as they explore online and in-store”. Through these interactive experiences, Burberry will be able to boost customer engagement, which results in better brand recall.

Social Retail Store

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