John Lewis & Partners has opened its first ‘experimental concept shop’ in WestQuay Southampton (19th November 2019) where experiences and events will take centre stage.
The retailer is exploring how shops will play a more active role in customers’ lives in the future, by offering a host of services and activities. At our recent Retail Connections event, Simon Russell, Director of Operational Development at John Lewis & Partners outlined this new direction being taken.
Certainly, the Southampton store appears to be offering ‘What Amazon Can’t Do’ (WACD) in spades.
The revamped store aims to bring together the best of both John Lewis and Waitrose, and features innovations such as a design hub called The World of Design, the group’s first ever Waitrose Cookery School to open in a John Lewis shop, and a stunning rooftop garden and farm shop.
There is a gadget hub called The Download, where experts can help John Lewis customers learn how to use the latest technology.
Billed as an ‘experience playground’ the store is designed to encourage dwell time – to ‘stay and play’ with product, attend workshops and talks, and learn new skills such as photography, cocktail mixing and festive wreath making.
The roof garden has been planted with apple trees and vegetables, and aims to showcase the historic Leckford Estate and Farm Shop, owned by John Lewis & Partners, located nearby in Stockbridge, Hampshire.
More pictures: John Lewis & Partners’ Southampton store