John Lewis has set its sights on the future, by opening what it claims to be the UK’s largest smart home technology experience at its flagship Oxford Street store in London.
The 1,000sq ft space, which opened its doors to customers today (Thursday April 70, boasts futuristic gadgets for every part of the home.
From an oven that enables you to put dinner on before you leave the office, to a bedside device that monitors the quality of your sleep and a smart fridge which does your internet shopping for you, a wide range of technology is on display in an interactive, real-life home setting.
The move comes in response to an 81% year-on-year rise in sales of smart home products from 2014 to 2015 at John Lewis. The retailer also noted that 18 times more people are searching for smart home products on www.johnlewis.com, compared with the same time in the previous year (December 2014 – December 2015)
John Lewis buying director for electricals and home technology Johnathan Marsh said: “We are seeking to demystify the latest smartest technology for our customers. In-store experiences are now key; we’ve seen customer demand for physical experiences before committing to purchase increase.
“To help customers understand which smart technology is for them, our Partners [staff] have received extensive training to provide added value. Given our home and technology credentials, John Lewis is perfectly placed to support and lead the customer on the smart home journey.”
Four interactive zones (‘Kitchen’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Sleep’ and ‘Home monitoring’) demonstrate how customers can save time, effort and enhance their busy lifestyles by controlling their home through the touch of an app on their smart device. An example is the Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge. A set of cameras inside the door means you can view the contents of your fridge from your phone when you’re out and about, so you know when to buy milk, for instance.
It isn’t just kitchen appliances that can be programmed to undertake tasks. Also on show for the first time is the new S+ by ResMed, the world’s first non-contact sleep tracking system that helps analyse and improve quality of sleep. It records light, noise and temperature conditions in bedrooms, and syncs to smart devices to provide personalised feedback on how to improve sleep.
All products featured in the space will be available to purchase in-store and online at johnlewis.com and the smart home experience will be rolled out to other shops across the UK starting with the new John Lewis Leeds store, scheduled to open in the Autumn.
John Lewis innovation manager John Vary commented: “Smart home technology is designed to make life more convenient and the introduction of this new curated experience – the first on the high street – marks a brilliant step in innovation for John Lewis.
“Showcasing the latest smart products, this experience demonstrates, in a real-life setting, how technology has exciting and far-reaching implications for today’s lifestyles.”
Products featured in the smart home experience include Philips Hue lighting; Sonos PLAY:5 Wireless Music System; Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm; AEG BS8836880B ProCombi Plus Smart Oven and the Netatmo Welcome Home Camera with Face Recognition.