London – British department store John Lewis is celebrating its 150th anniversary this month with an in-store exhibition, an ode to its founding shopkeeper John Lewis, and his draper’s shop that opened on Oxford Street in 1864.
The interactive exhibition takes visitors on a historic journey through the retailer’s highs and lows. ‘It is an engaging story of one man’s vision of running a better business and how this remains inspirational 150 years later,’ says Callum Lumsden, creative director of Lumsden Design, which collaborated with John Lewis on the installation. ‘It needed to be a truly immersive, informative and compelling experience for visitors so they walk away with a clearer understanding of the value of John Lewis and how it has shaped the face of retailing in the UK.’
Following a dimly lit corridor past the original book that includes the first day’s takings, visitors will find themselves in the office of John Spedan Lewis, son of original shopkeeper John Lewis and founder of John Lewis Partnership. They will then head on to the haberdashery department, with its rolls of rare silks and jacquard, and a room that explains how the store’s ‘craft of shopkeeping’ mantra was established and its continued passion for customer service. Visitors exit the exhibition through a showcase of John Lewis’s limited-edition 150th anniversary products, including iconic pieces by designers Antoni & Alison, Jaeger, Barbour, Dualit, Vitra, Alessi and Jo Malone.
With this milestone anniversary and celebratory campaign, John Lewis has embraced its physical history and offered its customers entertainment through social media and its digital presence. Truly phygital.