Lincoln shop trial to give shoppers more access to the products, services and Partner skills of the John Lewis Partnership as part of plans to bring the two brands closer together.
- Paid-for Partner-led events and a new tailored John Lewis offer introduced for the first time, including the first ever Partnership Service Desk in a Waitrose store
- New concept has potential to be rolled out to 50 Waitrose shops
Fashion and style talks, calligraphy classes, barista workshops and photography courses are not what you might expect to find at your local supermarket, but they are among a series of new Partner-led experiences* that could be available in the future to Waitrose & Partners’ customers.
The supermarket’s Lincoln** shop has started trialing new concepts designed to give shoppers greater access to the products, services and Partner skills of The John Lewis Partnership. It forms part of the business’ plans to combine the strength of its two brands.
For the first time, customers will be able to choose from a series of paid-for events for up to 20 people where employees from around the business take center stage to share their expertise in-store. A new community room*** has been installed at the store to host these events.
The shop will also offer a tailored range of more than 1,600 John Lewis products including, gifting, home making, kitchen gadgets, cookware, dining and seasonal lines.
These will be available through integrated displays around the store alongside relevant Waitrose lines, as well as in a dedicated John Lewis area. This will include a new Partnership Service Desk at which customers will be able to book free and paid-for events, as well as make service bookings (e.g. food made to order) and pick up their click and collect orders.
A second trial will launch at Waitrose & Partners Lymington** on 29 November on a smaller scale to see how the format and experiences might be adapted for smaller shops within the retailer’s estate. The shop will provide around a selection of 750 John Lewis lines as well as the new service desk.
If the trial is successful, the retailer has identified up to 50 shops which have the space required to potentially introduce varying scales of the concept.
Simon Burdess, director of customer experience for Waitrose & Partners, said: “Our ambition is to bring both the John Lewis and Waitrose brands together to drive a stronger combined proposition for our customers and give shoppers even more reasons to visit our shops. The trial has huge potential to elevate the Partnership offer and our Partner expertise to change how both Waitrose and our customers see visits to the supermarket in the future.”
Separately, Waitrose & Partners Lincoln has undergone a major makeover, which includes a new look cafe, new fresh service counters, including meat, fish, cheese and deli, as well as a new bakery.