// John Lewis has introduced a free virtual personal shopping service
// The service means customers can find what they are looking for from the comfort of their own home
// Customers can choose to have products delivered or collect them in store
John Lewis has launched a free virtual personal shopping service for customers across the UK in an effort to support them in finding specific products as well as receiving product advice.
The service will be initially tested by personal shoppers based in Peter Jones in London and Southampton.
When booking, customers will be asked a few questions about what they are shopping for so the personal shopper can prepare.
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The appointment will be held as a 30 minute video call on Zoom, where customers will be shown around the areas of the shop which they want to visit.
The personal shopper will show the customer some products they think match what they are looking for and answer questions about them.
The personal shopper will also be able to make recommendations on a wide range of products, with their expert colleagues joining to advise on more complex products.
The initiative follows a successful launch during lockdown of three other John Lewis virtual services – home interiors, personal styling advice, and advice for expectant parents.
John Lewis said over 3500 appointments have been booked since mid-April.
Moreover, following the appointment, customers can either have the products sent to their home, or collect them from the Customer Collection Point in stores.
“What our partners offer in our shops is impartial expertise and advice from our Partners and this pilot means we can offer that again to customers all over the UK who cannot get to our shops,” John Lewis head of customer experience Steven Hand said.
“The lockdown has changed customer habits but customer service remains as important as ever,” he said.
John Lewis said on Thursday that around 1300 jobs are at risk of redundancy after announcing it will permanently shut down eight John Lewis stores that have not yet reopened post-lockdown.
The partnership has started a consultation process with affected staff, and the decision to not reopen these stores forms part of the retail giant’s ongoing business strategy review.