John Lewis to open in Westfield extension Tuesday, to launch Madewell in UK
John Lewis opens its 50th UK department store on Tuesday at Westfield London and in advance of the opening, Managing Director Paula Nickolds said the location has been designed with the view of “the modern day department store [as] a place to shop, do and learn under one roof.”
The 230,000 sq ft location is the anchor tenant for the £600 million Westfield extension and the retailer is using it to offer customers “new things to do and learn every time they visit” with fashion a big part of that experience-focused approach. The store will also debut the Madewell brand in Britain.
The first floor Style Studio will be key for the fashion brands in the store with a 700 sq ft space targeting both women and men “with a passion for fashion to enjoy a one-on-one, or group style consultation.”
Customers will be able to choose one of five personal stylists they want to style them in one of seven different style and beauty advice appointments. These appointment types include assistance with getting ready for a special event, a wardrobe refresh, or two options that include make-up, beauty treatments and afternoon tea.
The personal stylists have been trained at the London College of Style and by former Vogue Fashion Director Lucinda Chambers.
Shoppers will also be able to stay in touch with them using an app-based service, with John lewis saying it’s one of the first UK retailers to launch such an app. And Nickolds highlighted how much of the services and experiences in the new store have previously been limited to the high-end boutique sector.
The new styling service will also include customers being alerted by text or email about products based on their personal preferences, finding out when a new collection has arrived from a favourite brand, or if a product they’re interested in has a price reduction.
Other key features in-store will be 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.
The store will also feature the retailer’s first ever 'Discovery Room' where customers “can learn a vast array of new skills from expert Partners such as how to perfectly light a room, how to make a house a smart home and hang a picture perfectly.”
The already-previewed Experience Desk and lounge concept is also included where customers can speak to specially-trained store staff about their needs and also get general advice or reserve tickets for in-store events.
Nickolds on Monday spoke about the changes that retail is seeing and how it’s important to keep department stores relevant. “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,” she said. “We're bringing to West London a new level of personalised, curated shopping which until now has been the preserve of boutique shops.”
The store will offer over 150,000 products and more than 1,000 brands and, as mentioned, will be the first in the UK to sell US denim brand Madewell. John Lewis has been increasing its own brand offer in recent periods but has also specialised in bringing in exclusives from external brands and this strategy has helped make its Fashion department one of the most successful in the UK.
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