retail trend: contextual immersion

2017 November 08

john lewis is the latest UK retailer to offer a live-in retail experience

Traditional retailers have long supported the theory that nothing comes close to the real life experience of in-store shopping where consumers physically touch and interact with the products they are browsing. Several retailers have taken this premise and pushed it even further to totally immerse their consumers in a real life domestic setting.

John Lewis has launched a pop-up apartment called The Residence in each of its London Oxford Street, Cambridge and Liverpool stores inviting visitors to complimentary sleepovers and dinner parties.


image courtesy of john lewis

The Residence features an open-plan layout with living and dining area, bedroom, indoor terrace, office and kitchen all kitted out with furniture and products available at John Lewis. Everything is available to buy; either there and then with the help of concierges or via iPads provided. Guests of The Residence are invited to personalize their experience by selecting their finishing touches such as the tableware and bedding to suit their style. The food and cocktails are prepared on site by a private chef and mixologist.

>< opinion

The concept isn’t new, with similar pop ups at Ikea and Sonos but it’s the biggest to date and aims to engage consumers in a fun and totally immersive experience. It is clever to forge territory that etailers can’t compete directly with and offers true differentiation to traditional and omnichannel retailers. Ecommerce brands that recognize this are beginning to invest in retail space as a means to offer consumers a brand experience based on more than pure convenience.


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