Retailer set to explore the future role of the shop in customers’ lives.
John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have created a new experimental concept shop as the retail group looks to embrace changes in the way the nation shops.
In a unique experiment, the retailer will launch a customer-centric concept shop at its Southampton location (opening on Tuesday November 19) where a combination of services and experiences led by expert Partners will take centre stage on every floor. If these ‘experience playgrounds’ are successful, they could be rolled out across the country.
Customers could start their day at the rooftop farm shop, pause for a 15-minute fashion fix in the style studio and learn to bake bread in the first ever Waitrose & Partners Cookery School to open in a John Lewis & Partners shop.
A moodboard for a home refurbishment can be compiled in The World of Design, while they can attend a workshop on gardening and experiment with make up or gadgets in one of the ‘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.
There will be a number of opportunities to learn a new skill, with pop-up workshops ranging from barista and photography courses to wreath-making and modern calligraphy.
“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,” explained Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis & Partners. “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.”