U.K. Retailer Launches Interactive Smart Home Department
Department store John Lewis has opened a 1,000-square foot space in its flagship Oxford Street location dedicated to products for connected homes.
Every gadget, appliance and coffee maker on display can be operated from your phone, giving you control over the lights, sounds and even smells in your place, reported CNN Money.
The smart home department consists of four interactive zones: kitchen, entertainment, sleep and home monitoring. Among the products displayed by John Lewis are the Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge, Philips Hue lighting, Sonos PLAY:5, Nest Protect and an AEG smart oven.
While the products are sold online through the retailer's website, the department store said it’s important to showcase them in store, where customers who see, touch and feel futuristic products for themselves, are more likely to believe in them—and buy them.
John Lewis said it decided to create the interactive connected area after sales of smart home products surged by 81 percent in 2015. And since the new area was launched in early April, sales of connected home devices in the store have risen by 4 percent compared to earlier in the year.
“We are seeking to demystify the latest smartest technology for our customers,” said Johnathan Marsh, buying director for electricals and home technology at John Lewis. “In-store experiences are now key as we’ve seen customer demand for physical experiences before committing to purchase increase. Given our home and technology credentials, John Lewis is perfectly placed to support and lead the customer on the smart home journey.”
John Vary, innovation manager at John Lewis, added: “We’re essentially unpacking the technology for the customer; giving it contextualization by saying, ‘Here’s what it’ll look like in your house’.”