Running until Sunday August 20, ‘National Treasures’ aims to ‘shine a spotlight on the best of British life, design and culture’. It will include a ‘Summer Season’ series of events and workshops across all 48 John Lewis shops and online at johnlewis.com, described as the biggest and most interactive programme of activity launched by department store group to date.
Peter Cross, director of customer experience at John Lewis, explained: “There’s nothing quite like the Great British summer. While we may be a nation of shoppers, pet-lovers and tea-drinkers all year round, there’s something about the summer that makes everything a bit more special.
“It’s the time when ice creams by the seaside, long afternoons in packed-out parks and grabbing an umbrella (just in case) become our national pastimes. In fact, we’d go so far as to call them our ‘National Treasures’.
“That’s why we’ve put together a programme of special events and experiences in collaboration with over 100 of the nation’s best-loved home-grown brands.”
In a first for John Lewis, all of its shop windows and shop interiors will be transformed by award-winning British illustrator Paul Thurlby for the campaign.
As part of the exclusive partnership, Paul has worked alongside the John Lewis design teams to create a collection of illustrations that ‘epitomise the customs, spaces, places, people and habits that we hold dear as a nation’.
In addition, 220 life size characters will be a central feature in the atrium of the chain’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street.
The ‘Summer Season’ series will allow customers to ‘see, learn, experience, make and dine’. The programme of events will weave together experiences including interactive masterclasses, seminars, Q&As and workshops that will be held in shops nationwide.
Examples include scent discovery workshops with Neom founder Nicola Elliott, interactive wellbeing workshops from Manuka Lifestyle and Liz Earle, creative BBQ masterclasses with Weber and print design workshops with designer Laura Slater.
A ‘National Treasury’ pop-up shop will be unveiled in each full-line John Lewis department store, showcasing products from British brands including Mulberry, Hunter, Dyson, Tom Dixon, Dualit, Wedgwood and Dartington.
A collection of limited edition gifts that celebrate Paul Thurlby’s illustrations will also be available. The range includes shopper and tote bags, tea towels, chocolates and mugs.
Meanwhile, ‘The ‘Gardening Society’ roof garden on top of the Oxford Street store will reopen for the second summer. Featuring the new Gardeners Arms pub. it will offer guests the opportunity to reserve a ‘summer house’ complete with private herb and flower garden and outdoor seating, or the larger ‘pavilion’ to indulge in British-inspired food and drinks. There will also be fitness and gardening classes hosted here.
In addition, John Lewis’ Peter Jones branch in London’s Sloane Square will host the Wedgwood Tea Conservatory. Running for three weeks from May 24 within the ground floor atrium space, the Conservatory will serve a floral-inspired tea.
Commenting on the significance of ‘National Treasures’, Peter said: ‘We wanted to create an integrated campaign that celebrates those iconic moments and traditions that make us who we are as a nation.
‘We’ve come together with some of the country’s best brands and most talented national treasures to bring what we believe to be a collection of truly inspiring, immersive, interesting and innovative experiences to our customers across the country.
“Customers will be able to visit our shops and leave having learned, tried and tasted some of our nation’s absolute favourite things, which we know our customers love.”
John Lewis National Treasures Whatever the Weather shopper bag, £5