John Lewis & Partners has announced details of a £21 million investment and refurbishment of its 93,000sq ft Peterborough shop in Cambridgeshire, which is located within the Queensgate shopping centre.
Due to be completed by January 2020, the revamp includes an overhaul and reconfiguration of the entire shop with improvements made to all departments alongside the addition of new features.
The move forms part of the department store group’s strategy to ensure its shops are ‘destinations that offer an outstanding experience for customers and a range of products which is increasingly unique to John Lewis’.
While the work is taking place, customers can take a virtual reality tour of the new-look shop using VR (Virtual Reality) headsets that showcase new features including an experience desk and style studio.
The upper ground floor will be home to the experience desk, where specially trained staff will provide a concierge-style service, consulting customers on their needs and helping them book different services that will be on offer in-store including personal styling, home design and nursery advice.
On the upper ground floor, the new womenswear department will include a style studio where customers can book one-to-one personal styling appointments or group style consultations. Customers will be able to choose their personal stylist and select from one of the five appointments, from a holiday wardrobe refresh to help finding ‘the perfect pair of jeans’.
The beauty hall is also being given a makeover in time for Christmas, with the introduction of new brands and a new beauty concierge-style service. Customers will be able to seek independent advice across the full range of brands and products, as well as book a variety of services and consultation appointments.
In addition, a new ‘The Place to Eat’ will open on the first floor in the Autumn, with a new decor and new menu.
John Lewis & Partners director of store design & development Tim Harrison said: “Our shops play a critical role in our relationship with our customers and we are investing in creating destination shops that inspire them and deliver an outstanding shopping experience.
“With concepts such as experience desks and style studios proving a hit with customers, we are continuing with our plans to roll out these services to more shops. This investment, and the improvements we are making, will bring the very best of John Lewis & Partners to Peterborough and we look forward to welcoming our customers to their new look shop.”
Queensgate Shopping Centre is owned by Invesco Real Estate and managed by LendLease. The refurbishment forms part of a £60 million extension of Queensgate. Scheduled for completion by Autumn 2021, the 77,000sq ft extension will be anchored by a 10-screen Empire Cinema and will create 200 job opportunities, adding 10% to the total number of people employed by Queensgate.
Guy Thomas, head of retail at Lendlease, commented: “The extension will sit alongside new restaurant brands and bring further opportunities, whilst positioning Queensgate as a significant retail and leisure destination. This is a very exciting time for Queensgate and the investment by retailers such as John Lewis and Partners, alongside new entrants to the scheme, signifies the strength of the regional catchment.”
John Lewis & Partners operates 51 shops across the UK (37 department stores, 12 John Lewis ‘at home’ stores and shops at St Pancras International and Heathrow Terminal 2) as well as johnlewis.com.