Burberry today opens its flagship store in China, with a high-tech debut in keeping with the brand's digital DNA. In addition to live-streaming the opening on Burberry.com (watch the replay here), the Beijing store boasts in-store iPads, virtual touchscreens and more.
Last year the luxury fashion brand shored up its China business, taking full ownership of distribution channels there and setting the stage for the brand's big China strategy.
Today, the label's design head, Christopher Bailey, will host "the most innovative Burberry event to date, celebrating British music, technology and fashion in China, including a live performance by British band Keane."
While the brand's an old hand at streaming, it's how digital is being woven throughout the Burberry retail experience, starting in China, that makes this opening the shape of things to come, according to the Wall Street Journal:
Burberry Group PLC is outfitting its stores in China with the latest digital technology, including touchscreens for customers and iPads for staff, at the start of a global campaign to shake its stiff, older image and win over younger customers.
China will be the first market to launch the digital retail model and other markets will follow suit, said Angela Ahrendts, the chief executive of the U.K. luxury fashion house.
Burberry plans to furnish its current 57 retail stores in mainland China—and the 43 stores in the pipeline—with touchscreens the size of full-length mirrors on which it can display special collections, fashion shows streamed from other countries and Burberry-produced entertainment.
All staff will be equipped with Apple Inc.'s iPads to help consumers order sizes that may not be in stores, plus some of the 5,000 products in Burberry's collection that aren't stored in retail outlets.