John Lewis trials “experience playgrounds” with newly designed concept store

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If the experimentals are successful, the hubs – which offer everything from wine-tasting to build—will be rolled out country-wide.

John Lewis has redesigned its Southampton upon to offer a more “customer-centric” experience.

On each of the shop’s four nonpluses, there will be a total of seven “experience playgrounds” where guests can attend workshops to learn a new skill or try out products on offers. Some sittings are free, while others are paid-for.

All the hubs at the concept store were planned in-house. John Lewis says that if these trials are booming, they could be rolled out across the country.

Peter Cross, character experience director at John Lewis, says: “Our goal is to offer blokes unrivalled access to impartial expertise in as many areas of their lives as we possibly can.

“Our new concept shop is an example of how we’re reinventing the department store of the subsequent to make us stand out from the competition.”

Selfie classes to wreath-making

The occupations on offer reflect the department store’s wide range of products. At ‘The Form Studio’, visitors can book free style-advice appointments and look totally clothes picked out especially for them. At the gadget-focused hub ‘The Download’, shoppers can assay out new technology or attend talks on subjects like how to take the best selfie.

In ‘The Give birth to of Design’, visitors can pick up tips on gardening and create a magnetic well-disposed board of carpet, wallpaper and fabric samples for home improvements. There will also be “live sets” where customers can see the latest ranges of furniture, and how they can be styled at about.

Pop-up workshops will also be on offer, with opportunities to learn skills categorizing calligraphy, photography and wreath-making. Over the Christmas season, there hand down be holiday-themed workshops such as cookery classes for gingerbread, advice on Christmas tree ritziness and planning a party outfit.

The Waitrose Cookery School

The Southampton stock will bring together services from Waitrose and John Lewis together at the beck one roof for the first time.

In October, John Lewis merged stewardship with its sister chain, Waitrose, in a streamlining move that cut one in three postpositive major management jobs and will save the company £100m.

Courses at the Waitrose Cookery Grammar include bread and pasta making as well as classes on pan-Asian cooking. There whim be drinks specialists at in-store events, who can also host tastings at fellows’ home. A farm shop and café has also been built on the bank’s roof, in partnership with the John Lewis-owned Leckford Estate.

“Guys are looking for experiences”

A spokesperson for John Lewis says: “Our customers are increasingly looking for stimulation, experiences and delight in how they shop. They are looking for experiences onto just purchase of product.”

A focus on “experiences” is part of a wider endeavour to appeal to customers amid ongoing woe for the British high street. This year, John Lewis divulged its first ever half-year loss of £25.9 million (pre-tax) in the victory six months of the year.

Debenhams, which rebranded last year, also asseverated plans to close 50 stores over the next three years. Lodgings of Fraser — bought out of administration in August — is closing four of its stores in the New Year.

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