John Lewis prepares for biggest store revamp scheme in its history

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John Lewis store revamp

John Lewis is set to undergo a radical overhaul of its stores in a bid to combat falling sales and profit decline.

According to The Daily Mail, the department store retailer is planning to turn 15 of its existing shops as “pilot stores” from this September.

These stores will experiment with events, classes, personal stylists and front-of-house concierge services.

The retailer’s parent company, John Lewis Partnership, is also reportedly set to begin a “multi-million pound” refurbishment scheme of its its stores.

For its Oxford Street flagship in London, this includes plans for a rooftop bar and pop-up cinema, as well as major refurbishment of its womenswear floor and a new shoe room in partnership with Kurt Geiger.

John Lewis is also mulling a rooftop bar and pop-up cinema space at its Southampton store – one of its 15 pilot shops.

The news comes just days after John Lewis unveiled its biggest-ever investment in fashion to date, which forms part of the department store’s bid to grow a £500 million own-brand womenswear business.

Created by the in-house John Lewis & Partners design studio team and label, the new fashion collection will consist of 300 designs.

The first collection, for the autumn/winter season, features 800 womenswear pieces, handbags and accessories and goes on sale on September 4.

Last month, the John Lewis Partnership warned that its half year profits before exceptional items were expected to be “close to zero”, although it stressed that its first half results were “always much lower and more volatile” than the second half.

For the full year, it said there could be “a wide range of possible outcomes”, but they were expecting profits before exceptional items would be “substantially” lower than last year.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder where the partners will have their lunch at JL Southampton when this grand rooftop bar and cinema opens. Investing in this is not going to bring more customers into the Partnership. Being innovative and changing with the times is the answer.

  2. You can see where all the profits have gone.. the Leeds branch looks more like a palace than a department store from the outside.

  3. I disagree with the original commenter. All the research shows that experiences are what pull customers in. There’s a reason that Fred @ Barney’s here in New York is such a success. People want places to meet and socialize and if you can combine retail with the former, you will attract customers. It’s the reason you see so many mall and shopping center developers turning to mixed use instead of anchor stores. Restaurants, movie theaters, indoor ice skating etc creates a destination.

    JLP is also smart for creating an in-house fashion brand. It’s doing incredibly well for Amazon across a number of categories, including their latest which is home furnishings.

    This kind of innovation is what will turn JLP into a dominant player as brands like HoF and Debenhams fade into the history books.

  4. How about making the partners care about their customers again?
    JL in Milton Keynes is a shambles and the levels of customer service are terrible.

    • One problem with JL is that they aren’t investing in store staff. There are fewer staff than ever before so those that are there don’t have the time to give the level of service that they used to. JL’s customer base demand this service and will soon go elsewhere if they don’t get it. However, although not as good as it once was I still think JL’s staff are their best asset. Treat them well JL!

  5. JLP has forgotten the ordinary woman. They have removed all but one petite range from their womenswear. They could corner a market, but instead have alienated those of us who are under 5’2″” and want to buy clothes that fit us.

  6. John Lewis needs to price their items like MandS shocking system trying to find a price by means of a menu – so old fashioned and generally wrong when you get to the till.

  7. Somewhere else to eat is the LAST thing southampton needs..There are SO many eateries and a huge cinema/restaurant complex has just been built next door to JL… be innovative don’t follow..

  8. I preferred the original look in John Lewis Milton Keynes instead of these blocks near the tills, it was more homely and easier to get round. I also think that there is too much “ Here today gone tomorrow “ stuff such as diffusers and far too many candles and sweets. I don’t agree with the comment that” customer service is a shambles “as we have had very, very good customer service particularly from the fitted kitchen department, thank you Clive and Stuart!. The only other bug bear is the same food in the restaurant all the time, I loved it when they did pancakes and ice cream sundaes. As far as clothes are concerned I am always able to find some very pretty and floaty tops for the summer and being 76 and a bit overweight due to an illness I have it suits me fine. I think it boils down to which store and where it’s located determines the stock. All in all I can cope with JLP’s outlook and we don’t shop anywhere else.

  9. Ive always had fantastic service from JL in High Wycombe, and from their deliveries team. Unfortunately I can generally only afford to shop there during the sales :/

  10. Partnership? More like sinking ship!
    Bad service? It’s management responsible for demotivating so-called Partners! ‘Bonus’ is a scam! So many amateurish decisions from the top – graduates plucked from uni to beef up their CVs, no experience, then move on after 6 months. No career advancement. I will honour the retailer you once were, John Lewis. Not this monster you’ve become.

  11. Whenever I make the effort to visit a store like Kingston with a list of 12 items I can only get 2; no service and being told to get it online defeats the object!

  12. JL Eldon Square, Newcastle. Where do I start ? Department layout is chaotic, very few staff to ask for items (with the exception of make up and beauty that is not only on the main level for footfall but awash with brand champions). Menswear is old fashioned and uninspiring, homeware and electronics is on one floor for a change, but then kitchenware is in the basement. Behind the times in lots of areas, agree with previous comments to become market leaders for home and internet shopping.

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