John Lewis & Partners has announced details of a £21 million investment and refurbishment of its Peterborough shop in the Queensgate shopping centre, due to be completed by January 2020.
The refurbishment includes an overhaul and reconfiguration of the entire 93,000 sq ft shop with improvements being made to all departments alongside the addition of new and innovative features.
The investment in the shop forms part of John Lewis’s strategy to ensure its shops are destinations that offer an outstanding experience for its customers and a range of products which is increasingly unique to the retailer.
While the work is taking place customers can take a virtual reality tour of their new-look shop using VR headsets that showcase all the shops new features, including the Style Studio, Experience Desk and Womenswear department.
Works are already underway behind the scenes to create a new Customer Collection Point, opening in August, which will be accompanied by a new external loading bay. This will offer customers both internal and external access for the collection point and will make collection easier for customers.
The upper ground floor will be home to an Experience Desk where specially trained partners will provide a concierge-style service. These employees will consult customers on their needs and help them book a number of different services that will be on offer in the shop from Personal Styling and Home Design to its Nursery Advice service.
In the new Womenswear department on the upper ground floor, the retailer will introduce a ‘Style Studio’, where customers can visit for a one on one personal styling appointment or a group style consultation. Customers will be able to choose their personal stylist and select from one of the five appointments: from holiday wardrobe refresh to help finding the perfect pair of jeans.
The Beauty Hall is being given a makeover in time for Christmas. This will see the introduction of new brands and a new beauty concierge-style service that puts partners at the heart of the John Lewis Beauty offer. Customers will be able to seek independent advice across the full range of brands and products as well as being able to book in for a variety of services and consultation appointments.
A new ‘The Place to Eat’ will open with stylish new decor and a new menu on the first floor in autumn this year. During the refurbishment, the current ‘The Place to Eat’ will move to a temporary location on the first floor with a reduced menu.
Head of Branch at John Lewis & Partners Peterborough, Gary Rowntree, says: “As retail is changing it is important for us to respond to the needs of our customers. The investment in the shop will create new and exciting experiences, while giving our customers in Peterborough a new level of personalised and curated shopping.
“We want to thank our customers for their patience while the improvements are being made and we are very excited to unveil new sections of the shop as the work progresses. In the meantime, we will ensure our expert Partners are on hand to answer any questions over the upcoming months.”
The refurbishment forms part of the £60m extension of Queensgate. Set to be complete by Autumn 2021, the 77,000 sq ft extension will be anchored by a ten-screen Empire Cinema and will create 200 job opportunities, adding 10 per cent to the total number of people employed by Queensgate.