John Lewis at home based on the Mannington Retail Park in Swindon celebrated five years since the opening of the store on Wednesday 28 October. The team treated associated charities, media and the first 100 customers to complimentary cake, bubbles and a gift bag. The crowd were wooed by the sound of a harpist, the height of a stilt-walker and product demonstrations.
The store opened its doors for the first time in 2010 after an investment of £7m to develop the site, which has a floor space of 39,00 sq ft and 259 car parking spaces.
John Lewis Swindon was the third John Lewis at home in the country, a new concept for the partnership.
Branch manager Richard Clare praised his staff at the event and the hard work they always put in to serving their customers. He said: “We have 120 partners in branch, 62 of which are still here from when we opened, and they really are key to our success. We have some amazing customers who love shopping with us, and one of the best things about the branch is that every department contributes equally.
“John Lewis Swindon has led the way in proving that the ‘at home’ concept is an extremely popular addition to the John Lewis store estate and a powerful means of meeting demand for our customers.”
Veronica Zarola who has worked in the store since its opening said: “I love being a Partner and can’t imagine working for anyone else. My fellow Partners are an extension to my family. My long term plan is to retire with this amazing and caring company.”
In the last five years the store has raised over £60,000 through their community matters scheme and in branch fundraising. Charities that have benefitted include, Parkinson’s UK, SCWAD (Swindon Chilldren without a Diagnosis or Rare Conditions), Motorneurone Disease UK, Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and Headway Swindon to name but a few. To add to this Barnardo’s has been their charity of the year for 2014-2015 and has so far raised £4,430. This has been through a mixture of activities such as cake sales, indoor cycling challenges and in-store storytelling.
Since opening the store café reports it has served 600,000 people, sold 104,000 pots of tea and 29,000 slices of carrot cake.