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John Lewis to launch The Residence - the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience

John Lewis is to launch a fully furnished in-store apartment this weekend which offers customers the ultimate-try-before-you-buy experience.

DEPARTMENT STORES

John Lewis to launch The Residence - the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience

Opening exclusively at John Lewis Oxford Street, Cambridge and Liverpool, The Residence will offer customers opportunities to explore and try the retailer's product ranges and even stay overnight and host private dining experiences. Everything in The Residence will both be for sale and be exclusive to John Lewis as part of its 'Only Here' Autumn Exclusives campaign.

Open daily, the apartment will be a space for customers to try, experience and shop for furniture, homewares, fashion and technology items with an expert team on hand to advise.

Each Residence will include an expansive living and dining area, a fully furnished bedroom and the Oxford Street flagship store will also feature a fitted kitchen, a study and an indoor terrace that will overlook Cavendish Square. To bring the outside in, the terrace will feature clean-air plants and orange trees, all from the nursery at the John Lewis Partnership Leckford estate in Hampshire.

In addition, the apartment will have all the characteristics of a home including daily newspaper delivery, fresh coffee, its own scent and the sound of the radio in the background. Cupboards and wardrobes will be stocked with the latest Autumn Winter products from the store across home, fashion and technology.

For a select number of customers, Saturdays at The Residence will offer the ultimate night-at-the-museum style experience where they will be able have an overnight stay complete with an exclusive opportunity to explore the flagship shop after closing time. The Residence sleepover will include private use of the apartment from 6.30pm until 9am the following day.

Those staying overnight will also be able to choose between 60 minutes of after-hours private shopping time, with access to the whole department store with the help of a personal shopper, or an access all-areas tour of the shop including behind the scenes. A private Residence concierge will be on hand for the whole of the stay.

Guests will also be able tailor items at The Residence to make it feel like a home away from home and will be offered the chance to test new products. This will include a choice of pillow, scent and a selection of beauty products. In addition, a Waitrose breakfast basket and newspapers will be delivered the following morning.

Once a week at The Residence in Oxford Street customers will be able to apply to host dinner party for up to ten people. During the privately catered experience a chef will prepare and serve a special menu with guests able to request their favourite cocktail.

They will also be able to pre-select their music playlist and choose their preferred table setting from the John Lewis collections. To end the evening, they can either while the night away with a selection of dinner party board games, or cosy up in front of one of the shop’s plasma screens.

At The Residence in Liverpool and Cambridge, customers will be able to apply to host their own private brunches. Every Saturday up to six guests will be able to have a two-hour dining experience including Mimosas and brunch dishes. Guests will receive a newspaper delivery of their choice and will be able to listen to morning radio as well as personal shopping advice from The Residence concierge.

The Residence will also host a series of free customer workshops where customers can “pop in” to learn niche skills for the home.

Peter Cross, John Lewis director of customer experience, said: “We want our customers to discover an altogether different way of shopping. By encouraging them to bounce up and down on a bed and sit around a dressed dining table, we are aiming to create an environment which is a close as possible to their homes. Our expert partners will be on hand to help customers shop, explore, dine or even stay the night.”

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