Luxury brand Burberry has teamed up with Tencent in China to offer a “social retail” store to take advantage of China’s online shopping trend and capture more of the luxury market in the country, according to a report by Reuters.
The store will be in Shenzhen in China’s so-called technology hub, and Tencent plans to open the store in the first half of 2020. The plan is to create a space that mixes physical with digital.
Tencent, which has the popular WeChat Pay platform as well as social media platform Weibo, will offer one-stop shopping for everything Burberry in one of the world’s most important luxury markets.
“Social media is becoming such an important part of the luxury customer journey, particularly in the inspiration phase, and retail needs to keep pace with this,” Burberry Chief Executive Marco Gobbetti said in a statement. “China was the obvious place to start as it is one of the leading hubs for innovation and technology and Chinese consumers are some of the highest users of social media.”
Shenzhen is near Hong Kong and sales have been affected by months of protests there, but the store comes at a time when the yuan is not as strong as it used to be and more Chinese are buying from home rather than abroad.
Burberry has suffered in Hong Kong due to the ongoing protests, posting sales declines in the double digits in its latest earnings report, which was released on Thursday (Nov 14). The company’s collections by Riccardo Tisci, however, have boosted sales.
Other companies have also made forays to improve their luxury offerings, with companies like Alibaba and JD.com launching luxury sites in the past few years.
Burberry is a British-based luxury brand that was founded in 1856, and it features a traditional tartan pattern.