WeChat ads spike Burberry's sales in China

In a bid to reinvigorate sales in the massive Chinese market, British luxury fashion brand Burberry has, this year, ramped up advertising on China’s popular social media app WeChat.

It’s a strategy that’s paid off for the brand, which saw a 4% rise in overall sales in the second quarter. That’s more than expected, thanks largely to a resurgence in China, where sales had slowed in recent years.

It also saw revenues from the Chinese market more than double compared to the same period in the previous year. At the same time, it tripled its reach via Chinese social media platform WeChat thanks to a campaign for its DK88 handbag.

For one campaign, the brand co-created a video series with Vogue Film that featured A-list stars—model Liu Wen, singer Kris Wu, and actress Fan Bing Bing—carrying the DK88 bag.

Burberry has prided itself on combining digital marketing with sales, such as by allowing shoppers to immediately buy online what they see on the catwalk during a fashion show.

It said growth over the period had been driven both by fashion and innovation. But it said that footfall in its mainline stores had been challenging: instead, growth came from returning top customers. In the year ahead, it expects to focus on improving productivity in its current stores.

The new chief executive Marco Gobbetti said: “”I am delighted to have started as Burberry CEO. We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, while mindful of the work still to do. This is a time of great change for Burberry and the wider luxury industry. I look forward to building on the foundations Christopher and the team have put in place and creating new energy to drive growth.”