John Lewis & Partners has opened an experimental concept shop in Southampton.
Embracing changes in the way the nation shops, the radical new-look department store has been designed to be customer-centric, with a combination of services and experiences led by expert partners taking centre stage on every floor.
Customers can start their day on a 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 can then compile a mood-board for a home refurbishment in The World of Design, attend a workshop on gardening and experiment with make-up or gadgets in one of the retailer’s new ‘stay and play’ areas.
At the heart of the shop will be a team of impartial expert Partners on-hand to help shoppers make the right choice for them.
Specialists can radically overhaul customers’ wardrobes or beauty regimes, show them how to cook an impressive dinner party meal or take the perfect selfie with their new smartphone and even visit them at home to help redesign their living space or garden.
There will also be many opportunities for shoppers to learn a new skill, with pop-up workshops ranging from barista and photography courses to wreath-making and modern calligraphy.
Over the Christmas period, customers can learn to make festive treats such as gingerbread and yule logs at the Waitrose & Partners Cookery School, as well as receive advice on how to style a Christmas tree or find the perfect party outfit.
Customer experience director at John Lewis & Partners, Peter Cross, 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.”
The in-store experts will offer a range of free and paid-for events, which can be pre-booked.