John Lewis opened what it claims is the UK’s largest smart home technology experience at its flagship Oxford Street store in London this week.
The 1,000 square foot space will boast futuristic gadgets for every part of the home.
The highly-anticipated Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge with built-in touch screen, which brightens up automatically as you approach, allows you to shop online from your fridge. A set of cameras inside the door mean you can view the contents of your fridge from your phone when out and about so you know when to buy milk.
From an oven that enables you to put dinner on before you leave the office to the smart fridge, which does your internet shopping for you, a wide range of the latest cutting-edge technology went on display in an interactive, real-life home setting.
Products featured in the smart home experience include Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge, Philips Hue lighting; Sonos PLAY:5 Wireless Music System; Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm; AEG BS8836880B ProCombi Plus Smart Oven and the Netatmo Welcome Home Camera with Face Recognition.
The move comes in response to an 81 per cent increase in sales of smart home products in the past year at John Lewis.
Despite the futuristic nature of the products, when it comes to buying, seeing is believing and customers still need high-quality customer service in stores. It is important for customers to touch and demo the technology with Partners in store before buying, says the retailer.
Four interactive zones: Kitchen, Entertainment, Sleep and Home Monitoring will demonstrate how customers can enhance their busy lifestyles by controlling their home through the touch of an app on their smart device. Demos from specially trained Partners will showcase how smart technology instinctively responds to human behaviour.
Speaking on the new display, John Vary, innovation manager at John Lewis, said, "Smart home technology is designed to make life more convenient, and the introduction of this new curated experience – the first on the high street – marks a brilliant step in innovation for John Lewis. Showcasing the latest smart products, this experience demonstrates in a real-life setting, how technology has exciting and far-reaching implications for today’s lifestyles.”
"We are seeking to demystify the latest smartest technology for our customers," says 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. To help customers understand which smart technology is for them, our Partners have received extensive training to provide added value. Given our home and technology credentials, John Lewis is perfectly placed to support and lead the customer on the smart home journey."
All products featured in the space will be available to purchase in-store and online, and the smart home experience will be rolled out to other shops across the UK starting with the new John Lewis Leeds store, scheduled to open in Autumn 2016.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.