John Lewis and Waitrose were kind enough to invite Horsham Blog, along with other local reporters, to a tour of the current developments on the new John Lewis & Waitrose site today. When the email popped into our inbox, of course we jumped at the opportunity to take a look around and see what all the fuss is about.
If you didn’t know already, the new store is a combined John Lewis At Home and Waitrose ‘superstore’ designed to give off a real community feel. Being only a five minute walk away from the center of the buzzing Horsham town, it’s easily accessible. The store will be opening in just a few weeks’ time, set to swing its glass doors open to the general public on Thursday the 18th of June… just in time for summer house decorating!
There are two floors, with plenty of lift and trolley-friendly escalator access, and 350 parking spaces in the underground access next to Curry’s. Just to give you an idea of how big the superstore truly is the Waitrose floor space alone is an astounding 27,000 square foot. Creating a total of 217 new jobs, and sustaining the jobs of those moving over from the Waitrose store, this really is bringing a lot of positivity to Horsham town.
Whilst we were there, we had a chat with both the Waitrose and John Lewis teams. This is the second store to combine the partnership after the first opened in Ipswich in 2012. Nigel Davis (newly-appointed John Lewis branch manager) and Jo Thomas (existing brand manager for Waitrose Horsham) are both very excited about working together in partnership to bring a completely new and modern feel to their brands and to this store. They’re going for a completely new design in terms of fittings and flooring, with the front of the store itself representing designs from Horsham town.
Offering an array of different departments, the new store has something for everyone. Waitrose boasts new amenities such as a Juice Bar, wine and beer bar and a sit-in bakery – the perfect place to pop along to and meet your friends for lunch. Whilst John Lewis has everything you’ll ever need from beds, mattresses, linens and nursery supplies to white goods, small appliances and home accessories.
The little touches are really going to make this store special. Jo mentioned that she’s hired wine specialists for the wine and beer bar to really give that personalised experience, and even the front desk offers new services such as flower and gift wrapping. You can order anything you like to the John Lewis Click & Collect service, pick it up in your lunch break, and browse around to your heart’s content. Sounds great to us!
We’re looking forward to visiting the new store when it opens up in 4 weeks time. Are you excited to have this big new addition to the town? Tweet us @HorshamBlog, we’d love to know your thoughts!