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Burberry forms social media alliance with Tencent in China
[PARIS] Burberry Group formed an alliance with Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd to experiment in blending retail and social networking in the key luxury market.
The first step in the exclusive alliance will be Burberry opening a store powered by technology from Tencent that will offer "unique experiences that connect luxury customers' social and online lives to their physical environments", the UK luxury-goods maker said.
"Social media is becoming such an important part of the luxury customer journey, particularly in the inspiration phase," Burberry chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti said in a statement. "Retail needs to keep pace with this."
Burberry also on Thursday reported six-month earnings that beat estimates, helped by demand for designer Riccardo Tisci's new look for the brand. Adjusted operating profit rose to £203 million (S$355.2 million) in the six months through September. Retail sales rose 4 per cent on a comparable basis, matching estimates.
Burberry hired Tisci, a veteran of LVMH's Givenchy brand, in March 2018. The UK company said his designs delivered double-digit growth in the latest period, with his products now representing about 70 per cent of the mainline retail store offer.