John Lewis’ First Virtual QR Store
Warming up to the prospect of a multi-channel retail future, British brand John Lewis has launched its first ‘virtual shop’, using QR (quick response) codes to entice tech-savvy Christmas shoppers to buy directly from store windows.
The innovative 24-hour window display – in the Brighton (Southern England) branch of its Waitrose supermarket chain – is part of John Lewis’ ‘Click and Collect’ service, whereby consumers can buy online and then collect in-store. Customers can choose from 96 John Lewis products, usually only available in its department stores, by scanning them with a downloadable app on their smartphones. Shoppers are then taken directly to the retailer’s mobile site, where they can purchase the item. The items will then be available to collect in the Waitrose store the following afternoon. Items on display include Amazon Kindles, Lego and Hunter wellington boots.
John Lewis hopes the initiative will provide it with a deeper insight into UK consumer behaviour, particularly in relation to QR codes and their online sales impact. Click and Collect is currently available in 129 John Lewis and Waitrose stores across the UK. The Brighton trial window will run until the end of December 2011.