The first thing customers will say when they enter Swindon’s new John Lewis at Home store is, quite simply, “wow”.
No space is wasted in the 39,000 sq ft facility; it is filled with bright colours and top of the range products presented by a fresh new workforce that aim to deliver excellent service.
It has taken just a few months to transform a basic shell of a store into something completely amazing and Branch Manager Dominic Joyce is confident that this new store will deliver the high standard of service people expect from any John Lewis store.
He tells of the journey that the site has made: barely seven weeks prior to the opening day there were no fixtures or products and now they are ready to trade a day earlier than scheduled.
It has taken a team of around 140 people to dress the store. Experts were drawn in from stores around the country to help. Only the very best made the cut and even Aberdeen’s best ticketer had journeyed to Swindon to get involved in the process of getting the store ready for custom.
This new store is an answer to the requests of customers who had no other option but to travel to Bristol or Reading to shop in John Lewis.
Overall, managers are pleased with the success that they have found with the preparations so far, reporting only one saucer was broken in the whole process.
The store will allow customers to explore the products themselves and this is not truly appreciated until one sees the electronics department.
Occupations manager Gavin Smith told us “there will be nothing under glass”. Customers can pick up and listen to the latest range of portable entertainment or put on a pair of glasses and try out the new range of 3D televisions.
And when customers are worn out by their shopping, they can relax in the cafe that Mr Joyce believes will be almost too popular.
This newest store has something to boast about in terms of the way it can cater for anybody, not just because of its customer lift and ease of access but because of the new range of ‘value’ products that are designed to accommodate smaller budgets.
We are told there will be something for everyone in every department, from clothes pegs to state of the art technology.
The store stocks a large amount of the John Lewis range and where products aren’t on the shop floor, customers can find them on the interactive stations that allow customers to order products via a ‘click and collect’ system or for home delivery.
The store aims to make itself a part of Swindon’s community not just by employing the majority of its staff from the Swindon area but also by branching out to children.
Pupils from Drove and Mountford Manor primary schools buried a time capsule under the foyer at the beginning of the construction.
All in all, if the tapping on the glass from the eagerly waiting public is anything to go by, it was clear even before the grand opening that Swindon’s new John Lewis store will be a great success.