Today, John Lewis has revealed details of a new ‘concierge style’ shopping experience which the retailer will trial at its new service-led shop in Oxford which opens its doors next Tuesday. The initiative forms part of John Lewis’s plans to reinvent the department store.
The new Oxford shop has one fifth of its floorspace dedicated to services and experiences and will offer 21 different services from travel advice to eye tests and children’s car seat fitting advice. Brand new services will include a free personal styling service for men, free technology training workshops to help customers get the most out of their purchases and learn about the very latest technology, and John Lewis’s first express Nail and Brow bar.
At the heart of the three-floor, 120,000 sq ft shop will be an Experience Desk managed by John Lewis’s first ever Brand Experience Manager where customers will be offered a ‘concierge style’ service to help them plan their day. Service Partners at the Desk will be able to tell them everything the store offers, book them into one of the exclusive events happening that day such as a pop-up barbers shop, or a make-up masterclass, help them choose the best Partner for their styling or home design appointment, or book them a table at the Scandinavian rooftop restaurant KuPP. Customers will also be able to buy one of five newly created Gift Experience packages including a Beauty Experience or the creation of a bespoke one with assistance from a Partner.
For the first time John Lewis will also be trialling new ‘hotel style’ tours to show customers around the new shop.
The 322 Partners recruited to work at the new shop have been given bespoke ‘theatre training’ by The Oxford Playhouse to teach them the art of outstanding service. They have been taught voice and body language skills used by actors to help them confidently deliver great customer service in their own authentic way.
The Partners will also be trialling a new uniform, created by its in-house fashion team, who have selected key items from John Lewis’s own brand range Kin. The uniform which will be updated each season has been chosen to make Partners stand out and showcase the retailer’s successful own-brand fashion.
Paula Nickolds, Managing Director at John Lewis said: ‘As part of our plans to differentiate the John Lewis brand and to reinvent the department store for the 21st century, our shops continue to be a place where customers come and experience our brand – the physical manifestation of what we stand for.
‘More than a route to selling things, our Oxford shop is a place that aims to inspire and delight our customers and is entirely focused on customer experience with Partners and finishing details at the heart of that.’
Julie Blake, Head of Branch John Lewis Oxford, who has been a Partner for 33 years said; ‘I was thrilled to be asked to run John Lewis’s 49th shop and help shape the future of this and other shops.
‘My team and I cannot wait to welcome customers into the shop and tell them about all it has to offer; from pampering to fashion advice, dinner at our fantastic new rooftop Scandinavian restaurant, and workshops on and demonstrations on the very latest tech products.’
Full list of services which will be offered at John Lewis Oxford:
Bra fitting service
Bureau de Change
Carpet and flooring estimates and fitting
Children’s car seat fitting
Children’s shoe fitting service
Christmas sacks and bauble personalisation
Computer support and set up
Eyebrow and nail treatments
Eye tests and glasses made on site
Home design service
Home appliance installation and disposal
Kuoni Travel service
Made to measure curtains and blinds including fitting
Nursery advice service
Personal styling for women
Personal styling for men
Smarthome product advice
Tech training sessions on the latest tech products
Three different places eat and drink.
John Lewis has invested approximately £18 million in building the 120,000 sq ft shop which is the anchor tenant at the new Westgate development which also opens on Tuesday 24 October.
The shop will stock over 55,000 products and more than one thousand different brands.