John Lewis to extend men’s styling service

John Lewis
The Experience Desk at Westgate Oxford

Department store John Lewis is to roll out it men’s styling service to at least eight more stores after it proved such a success following its introduction at its new Westgate Oxford store.

The menswear stylist was responsible for at least a third of all personal stylist appointments booked at John Lewis’ new Oxford store, which places services and experiences at its heart and was opened in the autumn, according to The Guardian.

A menswear styling service will also be among 23 new services offered at the new John Lewis store currently being constructed in the extension of the Westfield London supermall, due to open in the spring. Other services planned for the store include a beauty parlour, demonstration kitchen, community events room, nail bar and space for fashion catwalks.

White City and John Lewis are a destination that customers are really looking for which is a real experience. I think this will be very successful,” John Lewis director of shop trade told the newspaper.

Like Westgate Oxford the new store will manage its experiences from a central experience desk where customers can book appointments.

For the opening of the Oxford store staff were given bespoke ‘theatre training’ by The Oxford Playhouse to teach them the art of outstanding service, which taught them voice and body language skills used by actors to “help them confidently deliver great customer service in their own authentic way”. They also trialed a new uniform, created by John Lewis’ in-house fashion team.

The move highlights the growing importance of the men’s market in fashion and also the need for department stores to place experience at the heart of their propositions. Both Debenhams and House of Fraser have both unveiled strategies that focus on services and experience.

Debenhams, for instance, recently took a minority stake in blowdry bar Blow Ltd and will be rolling them out across its store estate, while House of Fraser’s new CEO Alex Williamson was recruited from sporting event venue Goodwood for his customer experience expertise.