Last week saw the opening of yet another innovative retail store at one of the UK’s key travel hubs. The 3,000 sq ft John Lewis click and commute store at London St Pancras provides a convenient service for commuters, which enables them to shop online and collect their products as they pass through the station.
As previously reported here on the blog, travel retail is a very exciting growth industry within the retail sector and many stores are using travel hubs to showcase new ideas, using new technology to cross over retail and bricks and mortar shopping channels to provide convenience for commuters as they pass from home to work and back again. This is the case for John Lewis – a company that has done very well over the last quarter, where others are struggling. The store is their first one ever to be located in a railway station and is squarely aimed at the commuting convenience market.
Products ordered online from home before 8pm are delivered to the store the next day and can be collected as the shoppers pass through the station after 2pm on their way from work. And it’s not just for commuters – John Lewis also hope that the store will appeal to tourists and international travellers who might be passing through the station via the Eurostar service.
In addition to click-and-collect the store also has a limited range of John Lewis goods available for immediate purchase – for those commuters who prefer the traditional approach. The long opening hours also give it an added advantage over some bricks and mortar stores which are closed at the time some commuters pass through to their destination. The store is open from 7.30am to 9pm from Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 7pm on Sundays, selling a specially selected, pared down range of electronics, gifts, beauty products, homewares and fashion goods. It is the first retailer to sell iPads, laptops and cameras at the station.
Maggie Porteous, director of selling at John Lewis described the thinking behind the new store:
“Our customers show us that they want different ways to shop that are most convenient for them. John Lewis St Pancras is our latest shop format innovation to meet our customers’ evolving needs serving the station’s travellers.
“Customers can shop and enjoy John Lewis St Pancras’s range of electronics, gifts, beauty, home and fashion products plus click-and-collect, or in this case ‘click-and-commute’, Johnlewis.com purchases.”
The new St Pancras store follows John Lewis’s first foray into travel retail at London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, which opened in June.
Ben Pearson, branch manager of the new store at St Pancras described the new opening as a new direction for the brand:
“I’m immensely proud to be branch manager at this new type of John Lewis shop. My team and I look forward to delighting St Pancras travellers passing through the station each day, as well as the local residential population and playing an active part in the local community.”