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    The Residence

    John Lewis & Partners

    The Residence offered John Lewis customers the ultimate-try-before-you-buy experience. With opportunities to stay overnight and host private dining experiences, everything in The Residence was for sale. The goal was to engage customers in the brand and allow them to discover an altogether different way of shopping.

    What objectives did you set out to achieve?

    We wanted to think bigger and reimagine the future of retail. Our primary goal is to improve our offer to customers, innovating on how we create great new customer experiences. We have 3 objectives to prove this:

    • Brand engagement – Increasing customer loyalty and engagement through delivering more immersive and emotionally rewarding experiences
    • Commercial success – Demonstrate tangible links between immersive experiences and commercial success
    • New approaches – to test if this approach can be applied to other experiences we provide in John Lewis & Partners, to allow us to continue to reimagine our physical shop spaces for the future

    What was your single biggest challenge in achieving them?

    The team certainly had to overcome several ‘firsts’ – sleeping over in our shops is not something we normally offer!

    But, to create great experiences, we need to experiment, learn and try new things. We are setting ourselves apart as a business that is now trialing new experiences through The Residence.

    What did you do differently to overcome that challenge?

    We set out to prove the value of The Residence to our business. For each of the experiences we used our internal capability to support and create the experience, for example all the food for the dining experience was provided in-house. Our partners (staff) were central to the experience, hosting customers in The Residence space whether that be shopping the collection or taking part in one of our experiences/workshops. Where possible we were able to report any sales of items featured in The Residence and through the various experiences and workshops hosted we were able to gain valuable customer feedback on both The Residence experience, and the products featured.

    What were your most impactful outcomes?

    We saw tens of thousands of customers visit The Residence space (across our three shops) as well as secured national media coverage promoting the experience. The success of our first Residence meant that in the Spring of 2018 we reopened The Residence in the same three shop locations with a refreshed Spring concept.

    In a sentence, what was the biggest learning you took away from this?

    You need to experiment and learn, to deliver innovation and get the support of your business. Customers want to see us try new things, and by listening to them and working with them we can deliver better retail experiences, that excite them.

    What will you do next?

    We will continue to use the impact of this experiment to deliver ever more experience led initiatives in our physical shops: enabling customers to immerse themselves in the best of our brand. Our ability to surprise and delight our customers as we did with The Residence will be key - so look out for more big bold steps in the future!

    Find out more about The Residence here