John Lewis to offer customers new concierge style shopping experience
John Lewis has revealed details of a new ‘concierge style’ shopping experience that will be launched and trialled at its new Oxford store when it opens tomorrow. The move is part of the retailer’s plans to reinvent the department store.
The new shop has one fifth of its floorspace dedicated to services and experiences and will offer 21 different services from travel advice to eye tests and children’s car seat fitting advice. Brand new services will include a free personal styling service for men, free technology training workshops for customers and John Lewis’s first express nail and brow bar.
An experience desk situated at the heart of the three-floor, 120,000 square foot shop will be managed by John Lewis’s first brand experience manager.
Customers will be offered a ‘concierge style’ service to help them plan their time at the store. Service staff at the desk will be able to tell them everything the store offers, book them into the exclusive events happening that day such as a pop-up barbers shop, or a make-up masterclass, help them choose the best staff member for their styling or home design appointment, or book them a table at the Scandinavian rooftop restaurant KuPP. Customers will also be able to buy one of five newly created Gift Experience packages.
For the first time John Lewis will also be trialling new ‘hotel style’ tours to show customers around the new shop.
John Lewis said the 322 partners recruited to work at the new shop have been given bespoke ‘theatre training’ by The Oxford Playhouse to teach them the art of “outstanding” service. This includes the teaching of voice and body language skills used by actors.
The partners will also be trialling a new uniform that has been created by John Lewis’s in-house fashion team members who have selected key items from the retailer’s Kin own brand range. The uniform which will be updated each season.
Paula Nickolds, managing director at John Lewis, said: “As part of our plans to differentiate the John Lewis brand and to reinvent the department store for the 21st century, our shops continue to be a place where customers come and experience our brand – the physical manifestation of what we stand for.
“More than a route to selling things, our Oxford shop is a place that aims to inspire and delight our customers and is entirely focused on customer experience with Partners and finishing details at the heart of that.”
John Lewis has invested approximately £18 million in building the 120,000 square foot shop at the new Westgate development which also opens tomorrow.
The shop will stock over 55,000 products and more than one thousand different brands.
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