John Lewis will bring a “curated shopping experience which until now has been the preserve of independents” to Westfield London, managing director Paula Nickolds has said.
Speaking ahead of the opening of the retailer’s new 230,000 sq ft store in the shopping centre’s £600m extension on 20 March, Nickolds outlined plans for a differentiated product offer, personalised customer service and instore experiences.
Personal styling studio
The store is home to the retailer’s first “Style Studio” – a 700 sq ft space where customers can book one-on-one or group style consultations from a choice of five personal stylists. Shoppers can choose from a range of options, including sessions dedicated to finding a perfect pair of jeans, complete wardrobe refresh or holiday shopping.
The stylists, who received training from former Vogue fashion director Lucinda Chambers, will be able to customers by text or email via an app after their styling appointment to offer further advice or product recommendations. They will also give daily in-store talks offering styling advice and tips on the latest trends.
US denim brand Madewell exclusively launched in the UK at John Lewis White City, marking the first time the label has been available to buy on British soil.
“Fashion, particularly womenswear, is really critical to our strategic ambition and essential to our aim of building a £500m own-brand fashion business,” Nickolds said.
“Investment in our brands forms part of our ambition to have 50% of what we sell in John Lewis exclusive to us, but the other part is focusing on brands that you can only buy from us, whether is supporting online brands to have a physical presence, like Hush and Finery, or the launch of Madewell in this store.”
She added: “Shops also have to be about more than just a differentiated assortment, it has to be about building personal relationships with customers.”
The new store is also home to John Lewis’s first ‘Discovery Room’, where customers can book appointments online and via the store’s experience desk to learn new skills, from how to light a room, to how to throw the perfect dinner party.
It is also the first London store to feature the retailer’s Loved & Found concept, which brings together emerging contemporary brands across womenswear, accessories and homeware.