Here in the UK we have a little high street crisis. Over 60,000 shops will be gone from the high street within five years, experts have predicted. About 300,000 people will lose their jobs as a fifth of all stores close by 2018 in “the most challenging economic climate ever”. Big name chains will pull the shutters down on over a third of the premises.
As a big supporter of the small independent shops, farmers markets and any retailer that has the ability to innovate and stay ahead of the curve you don’t usually see a high street chain on the colourliving blog. You are more likely to see posts written about selfridges (here and here) or fortnum & mason (here). The reason for this is because they give me something exciting to blog about and provide interesting imagery.
I love john lewis for its business model and ethics and its most wonderful customer service. I will always be a major supporter of this most excellent department store group. However, until now, i haven’t found a reason to write a blog post about them as there’s not been an occasion i’ve felt inspired to do so. This all changed friday late afternoon.
I had heard of the imminent opening of ‘open house by john lewis’ and upon a brief glance of the event calendar, armed with my camera, i made my way to the opening of the 4,000 sq ft pop-up in london’s islington, right in the N1 shopping centre.
Celebrating the ‘latest trends in contemporary living’ and inspired by the john lewis house product range, shoppers will have the opportunity to buy small products whilst there and browse the entire collection online via tablets provided.
I love when stores like john lewis do the unpredictable. This here is a new marketing and social media campaign targeting ‘young urbanites’. The pop-up will host a series of free events, including film screenings on tuesday nights and a street food workshop. What better place to do this then in vibrant islington i ask you, while also showcasing some new additions to the house brand including outdoor living, home office and christmas products.
On friday when i was there and every friday, the open house party will bring in the weekend with a free bar serving a different speciality each week. Thankfully they also had some non-alcoholic drinks.
My interest lay in the decor and brilliant styling of this 4,000 sq ft space. Simple yet effective, it made for a most exciting space, a great vibe and very happy people!
I loved how they attached all these colourful jasper chairs to the house logo sign.
The music was fantastic and i loved the simple and yet so effective back-drop of the dj’s space.
Love, love, love!
Great letter transfers on the outside make for inviting window displays.
What an ingenious way to display cooking utensils. Some bungees, plastic cords and cute little matchstick illustrations and voilà!
A cluster of paper lanterns. Have got to love the tina one.
Again, simple and stunning against black. Love the hand-drawn polaroid camera against the prints.
There’s also a coffee and juice bar!
Ah, always love seeing a beloved vespa used a a prop. Very effective here in this warehouse space.
A benefit of the opening day. There were around 200 keys that were handed out to each person visiting the pop-up. You then had to go and try your key in this door below here. The lucky winner who’s key opened the door won a £1000 john lewis voucher. My key didn’t fit but i hung around for quite some time to hopefully get a shot for you of the lucky recipient who was able to unlock the door. No luck! Eventually i had to leave.
My personal highlight was this sister and brother who took to the stage and gave us some wonderful breakdance moves. Surely they are the future ‘young urbanites’ and therefore john lewis has succeeded in their mission.
I urge anyone living in london to visit during the pop-up and join in the celebrations. This is john lewis at their hippest yet. I loved it all. Thank you for the inspiration.
Open House by John Lewis is open from 18th October to 10th November. Please check opening times and events calender here.
N1 Shopping Centre