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Brief Published: 13 Oct 2017

Contextual Immersion: John Lewis’ Live-In Retail Experience

With consumers increasingly responsive to the reassurance of trying products pre-purchase (see Contextual Commerce), the ongoing trend for selling within domestic settings continues apace. The latest and most extravagant example comes from British department store John Lewis, which has established a pop-up apartment in its London Oxford Street flagship, inviting visitors to sleep over or host 10-person dinner parties, free of charge.

Called The Residence, the open-plan apartment features a fully stocked kitchen, living and dining area, bedroom, indoor terrace and office equipped with relevant products. All are available to buy on the day (or night). To purchase, concierges help to locate products in store or guests complete the process themselves using iPads.

Participants are chosen at random after applying via in-store concierge teams.

Overnight guests choose not only the bedding, bedside table and robes they want for the space but also the books, newspapers, beauty products and even the items in their breakfast hamper the next morning. Similarly, dinner party hosts select the tableware and dishes, with food and cocktails then prepared on site by a private chef and mixologist. Five groups will test each concept.

Participants receive an additional hour-long after-hours shopping experience with a personal shopper.

While the flagship concept gives a full-spectrum taste of the brand’s entire proposition (food, fashion, beauty, homeware, technology etc.), truncated versions have also popped up in its Cambridge and Liverpool locations (UK), hosting a two-hour brunch for six people.

The concept, which echoes that of Ikea’s Warsaw apartment (see our blog), runs until October 18.

See also The Rise of the Shoppable Apartment.