John Lewis is launching a ‘concierge-style’ shopping service as part of wider plans to “reinvent” its department stores.
The high street giant will unveil the initiative at its new store in Oxford, which opens next Tuesday.
The 120,000 sq ft shop will dedicate one fifth of its floor space to services and experiences, including a new ‘experience desk’, which will be managed by John Lewis’ first brand experience manager.
Customers will be offered a concierge-style service to help them plan their day, with staff able to book shoppers into exclusive events, masterclasses and appointments around the store, or reserve a table in its Scandinavian rooftop restaurant KuPP.
Shoppers will also be able to buy one of five new gift experience packages.
John Lewis’ Oxford store will offer a host of other experiences and services including travel advice, eye tests, personal styling, free technology training workshops and a nail and brow bar.
To show off the new experience-led offer, John Lewis will also offer customers ‘hotel-style’ tours.
As previously reported, John Lewis has given the store’s 322 staff theatre training in order to beef up their service capabilities.
The Oxford Playhouse was drafted in to teach shopfloor workers skills used by actors to help them deliver “authentic” customer service.
John Lewis boss Paula Nickolds said the move formed part of its plan to “differentiate” the business and “reinvent the department store”.
She added: “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.”
John Lewis has ploughed £18m into the store, which will anchor Oxford’s new Westgate shopping centre development.