Speaking ahead of tomorrow's opening (20th March) of John Lewis' 50th shop, at White City, Westfield London, John Lewis MD Paula Nickolds says that "the modern day department store is a place to shop, do and learn under one roof".
At its newest store, which covers 230,000 sqft and the anchor of the £600m White City, Westfield extension, the retailer will offer customers new things to do and learn every time they visit. These include daily fashion-style talks, cookery masterclasses in a demonstration kitchen, and beauty treatments in either the &Beauty Express Nail & Brow Bar, or the Hair and Beauty Salon.
In addition, inside John Lewis's first-ever Discovery Room, customers can learn a vast array of new skills from expert partners, such as how to best light a room, how to make a house a smart home and hang a picture.
The shop will also have an Experience Desk and lounge where specially-trained partners will provide a concierge-style service. These partners will consult customers on their needs, recommend solutions from the 23 different services on offer – from home design to travel advice – book appointments with expert partners, and reserve tickets for events happening in store.
The first floor will be home to John Lewis' first Style Studio, a 700 sqft place for men or women with a passion for fashion to enjoy a one-on-one or group consultation.
Paula Nickolds says: "Retail is changing, but today's department shop is as relevant as it ever has been in responding to the needs of our customers. This shop demonstrates our latest thinking on how the department store can be a place in which you can shop, do and learn in a way you haven't been able to before.
"We're bringing to West London a new level of personalised, curated shopping which until now has been the preserve of boutique shops. This shop offers customers something different. You can get style advice for yourself or your home, learn a new skill, play with the latest smart home technology and so much more. It's also a place where we can build a far more personal relationship with our customers - bringing together the very best of our service offer and our outstanding partners."