Peter Jones, Sloane Square re-opened yesterday.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback from both customers and Partners on our first 13 department store reopenings this week has given us confidence to open in more locations across the UK,’ said Bérangère Michel, Executive Director for Customer Service at the John Lewis Partnership.
‘We are still reopening our shops carefully and in phases to ensure that our safety measures are absolutely right, and remain prepared to stop and review our plans if need be.’
Following the reopening of the initial 13 shops, which included John Lewis Kingston on Monday 15 June and Bluewater on 18 June, the department store chain is already applying lessons learned in terms of safeguarding customers.
‘We’ve learned how crucial our newly created host roles – which help customers adapt to the new social distancing measures and new ways of shopping – are in ensuring customers have an enjoyable experience,’ says Michel.
The John Lewis stores reopening so far have also demonstrated that it is possible to increase the number of customers in store and still maintain robust social distancing. The stores have also made the signage clearer in order to help customers navigate the changes.
And yes, the toilets are open! With frequent cleaning and social distancing signage in place.
‘Although we are not able to offer every single experience that we used to, we are still managing to offer customers a really varied shopping experience that is as close to normal and as enjoyable as we can possibly make it,’ adds Michel.
‘Customers will still be able to touch products, lie on beds, try on and test wipeable products such as sunglasses, prams and tech products, and get the personal advice they expect from our Partners.’
Key social distancing measures in John Lewis shops include:
- Customer Service Hosts assigned to welcome customers into the store, answer questions and manage queues and customer numbers
- Reduction in the number of shop entrances and exits
- Prominent social distancing signage
- Protective screens at checkouts and areas of the shop where two-metre social distancing is not possible, such as at
- Welcome Desks
- Control procedures for escalators and lifts limiting the number of users
- Rigorous and frequent cleaning
- Provision of hand sanitiser for customers to use at all entrances and throughout shops
- New contactless payment limit of £45
- Safe and simple returns process including new drop boxes and quarantining returned stock for 48 hours
- Close-contact beauty services are not yet available and customer catering outlets and fitting rooms will remain closed until further notice.
Further shop reopenings will be announced in the coming weeks.
A date has not yet been confirmed for the reopening of John Lewis Oxford Street.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE BUYING?
Customers at John Lewis Kingston bought fashion items, kitchenware and technology when the store reopened on 15 June. Top sellers in the first two hours of trading included:
- British Fashion Council face masks
- Egg cups
- China sets
- Baby sleepsuits