The upscale retailer John Lewis, which operates 43 department stores throughout the U.K., has announced three new in-store technology initiatives it is taking for the "festive period."
First, the company said it has become the first department store in the world to have the interior of one of its stores fully mapped by Google Street View. Customers can virtually walk through the flagship store, an experience that stitches together more than 500 panoramic photos of the seven-story building. (Give it a spin here — just click on the handbag next to the words ″John Lewis.″)
"The detailed tour showcases the magic and theatre of our flagship shop at Christmas and if the trial is successful, could see a roll out to other branches in the next two years," the company said in a press release.
The company is also installing transactional tablets in three of its stores, "enabling customers to skip the queues at till banks and make their purchases directly with the Partner (member of staff) who advised them. In a UK retail first, the tablets will be fully linked to the shop′s till systems, allowing customers to fully complete their purchase in the shop or arrange home delivery," the release said.
Finally, two locations are testing ChargeBox, a convenience service for customers that allows them to charge their mobile devices in 30 minutes. Customers are able to plug their phones in, secure them in a locked compartment, then pick up their fully-charged device when they are finished shopping.
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