The County Times was invited down to the new John Lewis and Waitrose stores in Horsham earlier this week for a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the new building.
The store covers two floors and will host both companies in the same building making it quite easy for shoppers to get lost.
Here is an overview of how the new store is set to be laid out:
As customers walk in through the giant glass doors at the front of the store, in Albion Way, they will be greeted with a huge reception area which will host customer service desks and click and collect stations.
The Waitrose side of the new store will be set on the left whilst and John Lewis half will be on visitors right with both extending to a grand open space upstairs.
For Waitrose, the floor space has more than doubled to around 27,000 square feet with plenty more options available for those who are visiting to complete their weekly shop.
As well as the usual food and groceries on offer the store will now be hosting a new cafe, juice bar, wine bar and bakery.
The wine bar and bakery are unique to the store and will not only have experts on site to advise customers on what they should buy for certain occasions but will also allow people to try different products or sit down and have a glass of wine or a bun.
The cafe will be able to host more than 150 visitors and will be set upstairs in the new building right in front of the glass so customers will be able to look out over the town whilst enjoying a drink and a bite to eat.
The plan is also to use the cafe to create a community hub with the store hoping to host book clubs and meets in the brand new space.
Jo Thomas, branch manager at Waitrose in Horsham, said: “It is going to be a really beautiful looking cafe.
“It will be open from 7.30 in the morning and people can come and have their breakfast or pop down later for some afternoon tea.
“What we are seeing in the supermarket industry is a lot of change. It is about offering customers these different experiences.”
The John Lewis section is set out on the right hand side and is just as spacious covering around 43,000 square feet.
Downstairs there will be large section offering products including electrical, nursery and linen items as well as many more.
A quick walk up the stairs or a brief trip on the escalators will reveal the second half of the John Lewis section which will house all the store’s ‘at home’ products such as furniture, fabrics and bedding.
These are set to be split into different areas with lots of John Lewis at Home partners on hand to help and advise customers which products would suit them best.
Nigel Davis, branch manager for John Lewis at Home, said: “This is going to be a real show home area. It brings all our home services together which is a first for John Lewis. We think our customers experience is going to be enhanced by having our specialist partners all in one place. “There is nothing these people do not know about our home range.
“Customers will enjoy spending time with us, maybe having a wine or a coffee while they make big decisions on what to buy.
“I am 100 per cent sure we are going to be able to deliver our customers expectations and excite them.”
For a full report in the ‘behind the scenes tour’ see our other stories here: Behind the scenes of Horsham’s new John Lewis and Waitrose stores
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