Department store group John Lewis is celebrating the countdown to the Olympic Games by wrapping four of its stores around the country in giant banners, it has been announced today.
John Lewis stores in Stratford, Cardiff and Sheffield as well as its flagship on London’s Oxford Street have been wrapped in giant flags as part of a visual campaign set up by the retailer, which is the official department store provider for the upcoming sporting event.
At 8am this morning, abseilers at the Oxford Street store descended the building to fix the final panel while Westfield Stratford City’s store unveiled two large vinyl stickers each side of the shop overlooking the Olympic Park.
Maintaining the theme of the group’s latest ad campaign, the vinyls create an image of a gold medal made up of John Lewis products, while the Cardiff and Sheffield stores were installed with the help of London 2012 partner Adidas. At the Welsh store, an 80ft image of Team GB athlete Tom Daley is displayed across the front of the building while Sheffield shoppers will be welcomed by a 40ft image of local athlete Jessica Ennis.
As the long-awaited Games commence later this week, retailers across the UK have worked to entice shoppers and tourists in store, with one of Britain’s busiest rail stations London Waterloo last week opening a balcony featuring a range of retail outlets in the hopes of capitalising on high passenger numbers.
Nat Wakely, Director of Selling Operations at John Lewis, said: “London 2012 is a once in a lifetime sporting event and we are immensely proud to be a sponsor and to be able to demonstrate our support in such a spectacular way.
“We backed the original London 2012 bid and it has been a fantastic journey to get to this point. The campaign to wrap and vinyl four of our shops further cements our commitment to the Games and is our way of getting behind Team GB and Paralympics GB.”
Today, John Lewis has also announced plans for a 260,000 sq ft anchor store at upcoming retail space Eastgate Quarters in Leeds.
Property firm Hammerson owns the yet-to-open space and the department store will form part of Harewood, the first phase of Eastgate Quarters, which will create two new retail streets in the city.
Costing £110 million, the first phase of building will begin in spring 2014 with Harewood expected to open in 2016 and it is hoped that the introduction of new brands will help make Leeds a quality shopping destination.
David Atkins, Hammerson’s CEO, said: “Leeds has an excellent reputation for high end shopping and bringing John Lewis to the city will reinforce Leeds’ position amongst both retailers and shoppers.
“I’m confident that the quality of the scheme and the strength of catchment means we will see encouraging demand from aspirational and luxury retailers currently absent from Leeds’ shopping scene.”