John Lewis has opened a smart home shopping section in its Oxford Street flagship to cash in on the rising popularity of connected devices.

The department store’s new dedicated smart shopping section is 1,000 sq ft and was opened following an 81% increase in sales of smart home products at John Lewis from 2014 to last year. 

Searches for smart home products on the retailer’s website all increased 18 times over the period.

Buying director for electricals and home technology Johnathan Marsh said: “We are seeking to demystify the latest smartest technology for our customers.

“In-store experiences are now key as we’ve seen customer demand for physical experiences before committing to purchase increase.”

Marsh added that John Lewis’ store staff “received extensive training” to help customers understand the smart technology on display.

The products available have been divided into four interactive areas comprising kitchenware, entertainment, sleep and home monitoring.

Samsung’s connected refrigerator, which allows shoppers to monitor the contents of their fridge via a mobile app, is available to purchase in the smart home store. A smart oven that users can switch on remotely is also available as well as a home security camera that uses facial-recognition technology.

Innovation manager John Vary said: “Smart home technology is designed to make life more convenient, and the introduction of this new curated experience – the first on the high street – marks a brilliant step in innovation for John Lewis.

“Showcasing the latest smart products, this experience demonstrates in a real-life setting, how technology has exciting and far-reaching implications for today’s lifestyles.”