* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘John Lewis’

Critiquing the Achica experience as I try out the “members-only luxury lifestyle store”

Spice chest at Achica (20 Aug 2012)

Spice chest at Achica (20 Aug 2012)

Since its launch less than three years ago, the private sales etailer Achica – badged as the “members-only luxury lifestyle store” – has been something of a quiet success story.

Launched by Asos co-founder Quentin Griffiths in partnership with former TradeDoubler CEO Will Cooper, the business’s strong online … Continue Reading

From textured berber to veggie burgers: new uses for Devon’s old Woolworths

Poundstretcher (formerly Woolworths and Alworths), Tiverton (9 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Poundstretcher (formerly Woolworths and Alworths), Tiverton (9 Sep 2011)

With another shop-spotting visit to Devon scheduled for later this month, now seems like an opportune time to share the ex-Woolies photos that I took during my last trip to the county, back in September.

I blogged about the Sidmouth store (#729; now M&Co) last month, while the Tiverton ex-Woolies at 18 Fore Street (#404) … Continue Reading

Interview: Isabel Macdonald, Branch Manager, John Lewis at Home Tamworth

Isabel Macdonald outside her new store

Isabel Macdonald outside her new store

Tamworth’s new John Lewis at Home opened its doors on Wednesday (12 October), eight months after I broke the news of its impending arrival.

The 42,000 sq ft shop at the edge-of-town Ventura Park is John Lewis’s sixth in the ‘at Home’ format, following the opening of stores in Poole, Croydon, Swindon (which I … Continue Reading

Swindon’s former Woolworths store – past, present and an uncertain future

Former Woolworths (now temporary BHS), Swindon (11 Sep 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Former Woolworths (now temporary BHS), Swindon (11 Sep 2011)

If you saw my earlier post about the shiny new BHS in Swindon, you might be wondering what happened to the retailer during the 18-month period that its old store was being redeveloped. Well, rather … Continue Reading

Habitat, HomeForm, TJ Hughes: why is it H-H-Hell on the high street?

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Habitat, Bristol (22 Feb 2011)

It’s hard to dispute that the last couple of weeks has been a torrid time for the UK high street, with a succession of well-known names either announcing bad news or collapsing into administration.

While HMV has a stay of execution for now, other retailers in that section of the alphabet – Habitat, … Continue Reading

John Lewis Tamworth takes shape

John Lewis Tamworth (17 Jun 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis Tamworth (17 Jun 2011)

Following the confirmation, in April, that John Lewis will indeed be opening one of its ‘At Home’ stores in Tamworth, work on site seems to be proceeding rapidly ahead of the Ventura Park store’s planned … Continue Reading

How to loos customers – and send your brand image down the pan

Not what you expect in an upmarket department store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Not what you expect in an upmarket department store

Apologies for the Richard Whiteley-style headline and the rather gruesome photograph, but if Mary Portas was looking for another retail-related programme idea she could do worse than turn her attention to customer toilet facilities – celebrating the good and exposing the horrible.

Customer loos are a staple of most department stores, and a necessity for those that … Continue Reading

Is John Lewis coming to Tamworth?

John Lewis logo. Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis logo

No, don’t choke on your cornflakes… that’s a serious question.

My interest was piqued last month when the Tamworth Herald ran a story under the headline ”Striking design’ of unit to be built next to Herald offices’, on the town’s ever-growing Ventura Retail Park.

In it, the piece gave a few more details about … Continue Reading

Putting today’s John Lewis sales drop in perspective

John Lewis Oxford Street, London. Photograph by Graham Soult

John Lewis Oxford Street, London

Given how long it’s been since the weekly trading figures for John Lewis department stores last recorded a year-on-year fall in sales, it’s little wonder that the 2.2% sales drop announced today seems to be … Continue Reading

Hotel Chocolat comes to Newcastle

Hotel Chocolat website (2 Nov 2010)

Hotel Chocolat website (2 Nov 2010)

Upmarket chocolate specialist Hotel Chocolat is to open a store in Newcastle city centre, it has been revealed – its most northerly standalone shop to date.

As highlighted by Flange at SkyscraperCity, Hotel Chocolat is set to open at 29 Blackett Street, close to Grey’s Monument. … Continue Reading

Price slashing can be a recipe for disaster

Yet Another Sale

Yet Another Sale

This guest post was written by Simon Barnett. Graham has kindly allowed me to write a few words on the subject of discount retailing. I have experience in this area and regularly contribute to a website about online discount codes.

Reading Graham’s post about his visit to Barnard Castle, I was struck by his observations of the discounting approach that’s been taken by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill chain of stores. Like many retailers, it seems … Continue Reading

Clas Ohlson heads to CSC-owned centres in Cardiff and Norwich

Clas Ohlson fascia. Photograph by Graham Soult

Clas Ohlson fascia

I’m not sure whether Clas Ohlson’s people are reading this blog, or whether – more likely – the obvious locations for new UK stores are fairly easy to identify.

Either way, I was interested to spot that the Swedish retailer has this week signed contracts for new stores in shopping centres in Cardiff and Norwich – following on from … Continue Reading

Unpacking Clas Ohlson’s 203% UK sales increase

Existing Kingston store. Photograph by Graham Soult

Existing Kingston store

The much-blogged-about Swedish hardware retailer Clas Ohlson published its sales figures for June yesterday.

What’s interesting is that sales for the UK are now being stripped out from those of Finland, giving us a much clearer idea of how the UK business is doing. Total sales were SEK 442m, of which the seven UK stores accounted for SEK 15m. A year ago, the UK business delivered sales … Continue Reading

Newcastle’s Wooly Minded store opening – more details about “the knitter’s paradise”

Wool display in the North Shields Wooly Minded (18 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Wool display in the North Shields Wooly Minded (18 Jun 2010)

My coverage of the upcoming Wooly Minded store in Newcastle’s Clayton Street seems to have prompted quite a bit of interest on Twitter, so – never one to shy away from a retail challenge – I thought I’d dig around a little further. 

Given … Continue Reading

Goodbye to Oil & Vinegar in Newcastle’s Eldon Square

The empty Oil & Vinegar store this evening (6 Jan 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

The empty Oil & Vinegar store this evening (6 Jan 2010)

After work, I trudged through the snow to the delightful Eldon Square Waitrose this evening, though not before giving the store a call to check that it was opening its normal hours. It was, though quite a few shops en route had signs in their windows … Continue Reading

A little bit of Newcastle retail history uncovered

Fascia of former George Rye store, Newcastle

Fascia of former George Rye store, Newcastle

Walking through Newcastle’s Bigg Market last Sunday, I was interested to see that part of the William Hill bookmaker’s fascia appeared to have dropped off, exposing some much earlier signage underneath (above).

I was also curious to note how the height of the fascia had evidently been increased from what it was previously, with the top portion of the adjacent doorway concealed as a result.

The uncovered ‘Geor’ … Continue Reading

Retailers needs a web presence that informs and inspires

Image by Zoran

Image by Zoran

I was quite chuffed, this morning, to have a short article on web usability published in The Journal. Much of what I wrote is, or at least should be, common sense: essentially, the need to understand what information your customers are looking for, and to give it to them in a way that is clear and engaging. Though the examples I used in the article related to tourism websites, the same principles apply … Continue Reading

John Lewis Bristol and the city’s changing retail landscape

John Lewis Bristol. Photograph by Mattbuck4950

John Lewis Bristol. Photograph by Mattbuck4950

Perhaps it’s a reflection of my status as a retail nerd that one of the first things I usually do on Friday mornings is check out the John Lewis Partnership’s ‘Weekly Figures’.

These weekly stats are strangely compelling in that – probably uniquely for a major UK retailer – John Lewis publishes a store-by-store breakdown for its eponymous department store chain. Hence, … Continue Reading