John Lewis set for biggest store revamp scheme in its history

john lewis

John Lewis is set to undergo a radical overhaul of its stores in a bid to combat falling sales and profit decline.

The retailer is planning to turn 15 of its existing shops as “pilot stores” from this September.

These stores will experiment with events, classes, personal stylists and front-of-house concierge services.

The retailer’s parent company, John Lewis Partnership, is also reportedly set to begin a “multi-million pound” refurbishment scheme of its its stores.

For its Oxford Street flagship in London, this includes plans for a rooftop bar and pop-up cinema, as well as major refurbishment of its womenswear floor and a new shoe room in partnership with Kurt Geiger.

John Lewis is also mulling a rooftop bar and pop-up cinema space at its Southampton store – one of its 15 pilot shops.

The news comes just days after John Lewis unveiled its biggest-ever investment in fashion to date, which forms part of the department store’s bid to grow a £500 million own-brand womenswear business.

Created by the in-house John Lewis & Partners design studio team and label, the new fashion collection will consist of 300 designs.

The first collection, for the autumn/winter season, features 800 womenswear pieces, handbags and accessories and goes on sale on September 4.

Last month, the John Lewis Partnership warned that its half year profits before exceptional items were expected to be “close to zero”, although it stressed that its first half results were “always much lower and more volatile” than the second half.

For the full year, it said there could be “a wide range of possible outcomes”, but they were expecting profits before exceptional items would be “substantially” lower than last year.