John Lewis have been in touch with me, to share the following news about a rather special year for them, and to offer up a fabulous give-away for one of my readers…
John Lewis is pleased to announce plans to mark its 150th anniversary with a series of commemorative events which will celebrate a business that has grown from a humble draper’s shop opened in 1864, to the £4 billion international, award-winning business it is today.
Lifting the lid on its history, John Lewis will invite the world to explore its rich and unique heritage and understand how this iconic British brand has grown out of one man’s idea of “a better way of doing business”.
An interactive exhibition in the retailer’s flagship shop on Oxford Street will sit at the heart of the celebrations. From the cobbled streets of Victorian London, visitors will open a door into the retailer’s past via the draper’s shop where it all began on 2nd May 1864. Following a dimly lit corridor past the original book that includes the first day’s takings, guests will find themselves in John Spedan Lewis’ office, the setting for the birth of the John Lewis Partnership. Visitors will get an insight into the man Spedan was and his revolutionary idea that all workers should be co-owners and share in the success of his company.
After a dramatic installation which tells the story of how a WWII bomb threatened the future of the company, the exhibition proceeds to explain how the “craft of shopkeeping” and a passion for customer service has guided the business ever since. The work of many celebrated designers and brands is recognised, as well as the retailer’s own textile mill, Herbert Parkinson, where a bespoke weave will fill the exhibition floor and run over the ceiling. Visitors will exit the exhibition with a glimpse into how we will shop, live and look in the future, through a unique collaboration with the Royal College of Art.
In a first for the retailer, the Oxford Street flagship will also open its roof to London. Working with Tony Woods, Royal Horticultural Society National Young Designer of the Year, and the Partnership’s own gardeners from the Longstock estate, one of the capital’s largest urban rooftops will be transformed into a tranquil space that boasts some of the best views in town.
Collaborating with some of Britain’s most loved brands and designers, John Lewis will offer in store and online a carefully edited assortment of product that has been produced exclusively for the anniversary. Partnerships include: Antoni & Alison; Jaeger; Ted Baker; Lucienne Day; Barbour; Alex Monroe; Jo Malone; Liz Earle; Dualit; Vitra; Alessi; Links of London and Silvercross.
In a series of firsts, its fashion department sees the launch of Orla Kiely’s first menswear range, exclusive to John Lewis. The electricals department has teamed up with the iconic Henry Hoover brand to offer John Lewis customers the opportunity to buy a ‘John’ or a ‘Lewis’ Hoover, and in its home department the retailer’s own design studio pays homage to the brand’s design history by taking key heritage prints from the archives and using them on new, modern products.
Across the country John Lewis shops will be joining the celebrations, which start on 3rd May, with a whole host of regional activities and, working in partnership with Barnardos, each shop will be supporting local charity initiatives. That week the retailer will also launch a special 150th anniversary television advert to kick off its celebrations.
So it’s all happening at John Lewis from this weekend! And to celebrate here on the blog, John Lewis are kindly offering one of my readers the chance to win a £50 John Lewis gift voucher – lovely! To be in with a chance of winning, simply use the rafflecopter below (clue: you’ll need to check back on my last post for an answer) and enter before the closing date of 27th May 2014, open to UK entrants only.