LONDON — Britain’s John Lewis will open a 230,000-square-foot store in Westfield London on Tuesday with new store concepts, a stronger focus on in-house brands and exclusive partnerships with labels such as Madewell, which is breaking into the British market via the department store.
The 33 million pound Westfield London store spans four floors and is a part of the 600 million pound extension of the shopping center. There will also be a spa, two restaurants and concierge offering in-store services such as styling sessions, beauty treatments and travel services.
The retailer’s women’s wear offer will span 37,000 square feet and will launch with a Loved & Found boutique, selling an edit of items from across the store, and a new Style Studio personal shopping experience. The retailer is also putting the spotlight on its own labels including John Lewis, Kin by John Lewis and Modern Rarity.
“We are able to achieve this magic balance of well-known brands that we love and that our customers love along with ones that are exclusive to us and our in-house brands,” said Jo Bennett, head of buying, women’s wear. “We have this curated collection of women’s wear that is really unique to us and tasteful in the way that we put it together.”
She said 41 percent of women’s wear brands on the floor are exclusive to John Lewis. New names include Paul & Joe’s Sister, Boden and Hush. The latter is its fastest-growing label. Bennett said that Kin by John Lewis is a brand that is working “incredibly well.”
Madewell is entering the British market via John Lewis. Its shops-in-shop has a Denim Bar where consumers can have British-themed patches or their initials sewn onto their clothing for the launch. Launched in 2006, the brand owned by J. Crew is known for its denim offering as well as for its transport tote — another bestseller. The shops-in-shop carries jeans, jackets, blouses, T-shirts, accessories and bags. Prices range from 9.62 pounds for a bandana to 428 pounds for a leather jacket.
“We’ve shipped to the U.K. for some time now and have seen a continued demand for a physical presence from our U.K. customers,” said Madewell head designer Joyce Lee. “So we’re excited to finally be able to provide them with a place they can experience Madewell in person. The John Lewis retail philosophy is very much in line with ours at Madewell, making the partnership a natural fit.”
Loved & Found is a new concept boutique that offers an edit of items from independent labels in women’s wear as well as beauty, homeware and technology, all of which have been chosen by the John Lewis buying team. New brands include People Tree and Selfish Mother. This is the first location in London to offer the Loved & Found concept, which already features at the Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool John Lewis stores.
Style Studio is a dedicated space that offers personal styling services and trend presentations. Shoppers can ask for help from stylists who have been trained by Lucinda Chambers, the stylist and former fashion director of Vogue.
Also new to the shop floor is lingerie and spacious fitting areas that have been done in soft colors and lighting. Camilla Rowe, head of buying for women’s accessories, said that, moving forward, the lingerie area will be a blueprint for those in future stores.
“The whole [lingerie] shop is new,” said Rowe. “This is the first time we have put this in the store and what we have tried to do is ensure that our own brands are at the front — and also the modern brands. We have a slightly newer mix of brands in the store and a slightly higher price point.” She said the in-house John Lewis lingerie label was the biggest brand and also touted And/Or as one of their newest and best-selling names.
New accessories brands include eco-friendly, vegan leather bag label Matt and Nat. Liberty has also created a special range of totes, bags and accessories for the retailer, while Aspinal of London offers personalization services, such as monogramming initials on its accessories and bags. In addition, the British brand Toolally has designed a special lineup of earrings to mark the opening of the store.