John Lewis opens “school of service” for staff to boost customer experience

John Lewis
There are plans to retrain 500 staff before Christmas

John Lewis has launched a “school of service” for staff to provide lessons on better customer experience after facing criticism that standards in stores have been ­slipping.

There are plans to retrain 500 staff before Christmas, in hopes a renewed focus on helping shoppers will boost sales.

The school has four classrooms and one theatre, and is located inside the John Lewis store in Stratford, London.

READ MORE: John Lewis opens 10 Christmas Emporiums

If the programme proves a success, John Lewis could expand the school to other parts of the UK as well as to Waitrose.

In recent years, customers have complained about a deterioration in customer service at John Lewis amid store closures and thousands of job cuts.

John Lewis said in July that it wanted to invest more in customer service roles after it announced it would cut 1000 jobs.

The “school of service” is the latest effort from chairwoman Sharon White to turn the retailer around.

John Lewis said the ­initiative “reinforced our principles of putting customers at the heart of what we do”.

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  1. Another Monday morning John Lewis story. I seem to remember that for their then new store in Oxford they engaged theatre companies to pre-train the staff prior to opening. From personal experience I can tell you that didn’t work, rather than help or assist you they ran away at the sight of a customer. Ground floor staff glued to their IPhones, and as for tech on the top floor only the central cash desk was manned. The “class room” will only work if the senior management realise that Department Store retailing today is not based on “TV’s are you being served” This just looks like more lecturing from a senior team with little real retail expertise.

  2. Instead of constantly lambasting front-line shop floor staff who have to deal with an increasingly belligerent general public, its about time the Executive Team got to grips with the faceless Home Services team, who after nearly four years of their existence still fall well short of good customer service. Communication is key but this team does not seem to understand that concept! Maybe this ‘school’ can help them too?

  3. I worked in Retai for over 40years. Retired now. Every Store had it training and staff growth pattern. The only way good , service starts is from the top ! So hope all the board of JL takes the courses. Having spent millions on our local store. To then close it. There is a lot more than just customer service needed. !


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