John Lewis has had an idea about how to make its cavernous retail caves a bit more enjoyable for the everyday shopper, and is to begin testing a range of "experience playground" options in the Southampton branch.
The Southampton refit will offer the chance to test new gadgets that'll be put out for buyers to play with, with a roof garden opening up the potential for outdoorsy courses and experiences, like garden design workshops and expert talks on pruning your fruits trees and whatnot. Shoppers will be able to pick up personal styling experiences too, if they really want to spend an entire day performing ambulatory consumption in a department store, and there'll even be a Waitrose Cookery School on the site too, as the two posh brands do their best to support each other through these difficult retailing times.
John Lewis's customer care boss Peter Cross said: "Our new concept shop is an example of how we're reinventing the department store to make us stand out from the competition. Our goal is to offer customers unrivalled access to expertise and impartial advice in a way that is uplifting and inspiring."
So if you want a Kirstie Allsopp clone to tell you about wallpapering or need a new pair of Monty Don-branded secateurs and a leaflet explaining how to use them, get on down there. [Retail Gazette]