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Brief Published: 23 Dec 2019

John Lewis’ New In-Store, Cross-Brand Service Strategies

John Lewis menswear, Oxford Street

Reflecting an ongoing consumer preference for a brand-agnostic, concierge-style approach to retailing, UK department store John Lewis & Partners has recalibrated its cross-brand services – adding a host of tours and classes across its beauty and menswear departments.

Beauty Guides: The brand now offers cross-brand appointments at its UK beauty halls in Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds and Southampton as part of the John Lewis Beauty Society (its new beauty spaces). Moving away from traditional, territorial brand concessions, each is serviced by specialist beauty guides who help consumers find tailored solutions.

Pick Your Assistant: Personalising the service, visitors can effectively matchmake for themselves – selecting an assistant via their online bio specifying their personal aesthetic tastes and areas of expertise. Customers can book makeover-style appointments, partially redeemable against purchases, or have a free walk-in beauty hall tour where guides share insights on key products.

Assistant matchmaking is also being deployed by British software company Go Instore, which connects shoppers with in-store sales assistants in real-time – a deep artificial intelligence (AI) capability alerts the system if a different associate is deemed better suited to that customer as the conversation progresses.

Menswear Styling: The retailer is also refocusing strongly on menswear, which is set to outpace womenswear growth (if not volume sales) by 2021 – Euromonitor predicts a 1.9% global sales rise in menswear, in contrast to 1.4% in womenswear.

John Lewis’ revamped menswear department in its Oxford Street flagship offers both 30-minute long ‘walk and talk’ shop floor sessions and hour-long consultations aimed at remedying specific wardrobe issues, such as a denim masterclass or a holidaywear refresh, both of which are free.

A third option is a two-hour personal styling session called the ‘Ultimate Menswear Experience’ held in The Speak Easy, an in-store space accessible via a hidden door, costing £75 ($98.50) with £50 ($66) redeemable against purchases. The Speak Easy also offers cocktails and grooming treatments including brow shaping, facials and manicures. See also The Male Beauty Moment.