This morning The District Post was treated to a guided tour of the new John Lewis and Waitrose ‘At Home’ store that will open four weeks today, Thursday June 18.
The John Lewis branch manager Nigel Davis and Waitrose manager Jo Thomas, along with a variety of marketing and PR staff from the two separate arms of the group, conducted the tour. The Waitrose store will at 27,000 sq feet be almost twice the size of the existing Horsham store and the new John Lewis will cover 43,000 sq feet over two floors.
Nigel Davis, who has seven years service with the group, explained that this is the second of the combined ‘At Home’ stores. However the Horsham branch will be the first to have both the Waitrose and John Lewis parts working so closely together. All the behind the scenes areas such as goods received entrances, offices and staff facilities will be shared between the two.
Jo Thomas, who is the current manager of the Waitrose store in Piries Place and will be transferring across, said how excited she was about the opening and that in terms of design and innovation both stores have taken things to another level. As well as a 150 seat Cafe overlooking the glass fronted entrance atrium the Waitrose will have a juice bar, a bakery where bread, cakes and pastries can be bought and eaten on site and amazingly a wine bar where customers can have a glass of wine or a cold beer during their shopping experience.
Both stores have a lot of work still to do on them before the doors open at 9.00am on June 18 but both store managers, the construction site director and all those involved are confident all will be spot on and perfect come the big day.
From what we saw today coupled with the energy and enthusiasm of both Nigel Davis and Jo Thomas the people of Horsham are in for a fantastic shopping experience in a month’s time.
Further details and photos will be in next week’s District Post, out on Thursday May 28.