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Brief Published: 24 Nov 2017

Service-Led Seduction: John Lewis’ Super-Service Flagship

John Lewis Experience Desk

Acknowledging the rising value of both an experiential and an assistance-based economy, British department store John Lewis is seeking to maximise the power of its physical stores by ramping up the services it offers.

Currently being trialled in its Oxford flagship in the UK (opened in October 2017), the brand is offering 22 key services, to which it’s dedicating around one-fifth of the store’s 120,000 sq ft of floor space. All are managed from a centralised point: a ground-floor Experience Desk where staff book consumers in for a pop-up barber or make-up masterclass, among other things.

Other experiences include weekly on-site technology classes in the consumer electronics department (see also Tactics for Retailing Tech), and an express nail and brow bar in the beauty section. Consumers can also enjoy complimentary one-hour express personal styling appointments, or two-hour wardrobe revamps.

As part of this new homage to the seduction of service, John Lewis has also supersized its training strategy. All menswear stylists have received one-to-one training by a tailor from London’s prestigious Savile Row – increasing their understanding of body shape, colour, dress sense and fit. Additionally, all 322 staff members have received voice and body language training from actors at the Oxford Playhouse theatre to boost their confidence and help communicate via “authentic and emotional storytelling” rather than the hard sell.

John Lewis plans to roll out the most successful services to other stores in 2018.

For more on new service-heavy strategies, including those deploying a soft sell, see Brand Spaces, 2018/19: Trends & Opportunities, Active Flagships and Nordstrom’s Service-Only Store.