Waitrose and John Lewis launch experiential concept shop

Date : 19 November 2019

John Lewis Partnership has launched an experimental customer centric shop featuring 'experience playgrounds' from both of its Waitrose & Partners and John Lewis & Partners brands.

Experience playground to inspire customers

From November 18th, John Lewis & Partners Southampton store will showcase a combination of services and experiences on every floor, demonstrated by a team of in-house experts including interior designers, chefs and wine connoisseurs, gardeners, gadget specialists, personal stylists and make-up artists. If successful, the concept could be rolled out nationwide.

Key elements include:

  • Stay and play areas where customers can take their time experimenting with everything from make-up to gadgets across all the brands on offer.
  • Brand new farm shop and roof garden from the Partnership's nearby Leckford Estate. 
  • First ever Waitrose Cookery School inside a John Lewis & Partners shop with cooking classes. 
  • Beauty and fashion gift experiences including a personal styling package with makeover, manicure and brow treatment.
  • Specialist gardening talks and home consultations about garden redesign.

Partners at the heart of the concept

In publicity for the launch, the role of partners in leading each of the experiences is emphasised. The press release suggests "Customers could start their day at our rooftop farm shop, pause for a 15-minute fashion fix in our style studio and learn to bake bread in the first ever Waitrose & Partners Cookery School to open in a John Lewis & Partners shop. They could compile a moodboard for a home refurbishment in The World of Design, attend a workshop on gardening and experiment with make-up or gadgets in one of our ‘stay and play’ areas."

Reinventing the department store of the future

Peter Cross, Customer Experience Director at John Lewis & Partners, says: “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.”

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