John Lewis to open experimental concept shop at Southampton store
John Lewis and Waitrose are teaming up to launch an experimental customer-centric concept shop at its store in Southampton.
Due to launch on 19 November, the shop will offer a combination of services and experiences in what the retailers describe as ‘experience playgrounds’. The offering will be led by a team of experts that will include interior designers, chefs and wine connoisseurs, gardeners, gadget specialists, personal stylists and make-up artists.
If successful, the concept could be rolled out to other stores across the UK.
In Southampton, customers will be able to visit a rooftop farmshop, get their fashion fix in a style studio, and learn how to bake bread in the first ever Waitrose Cookery School to open in a John Lewis shop. They will also be able to compile a moodboard for home refurbishment in the shop’s The World of Design, attend a workshop on gardening, and experiment with make-up or gadgets in one of the store’s ‘stay and play’ areas.
In addition, the shop will offer pop-up workshops that will include barista and photography courses and wreath-making and modern calligraphy lessons. There will also be a number of Christmas workshops and events.
Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis & Partners, said: “Our goal is to offer customers unrivalled access to expertise and impartial advice in as many areas of their lives as we possibly can – in a way that is uplifting and inspiring.
“We know that shopping for a new gadget or beauty product can be a daunting experience, with so much choice on offer. We want to help navigate customers through that.
“Our new concept shop is an example of how we’re reinventing the department store of the future to make us stand out from the competition.”
Customers will be able to make bookings for the services and experiences at the store’s experience desk.
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