John Lewis to offer men their own stylist (and a cocktail, too)

For many men, shopping for clothes is a tedious task best tackled as swiftly as possible.

But John Lewis hopes to change this, with a VIP personal styling service it describes as ‘the world’s smallest member’s club… where the customer is the only member’.

Shoppers will be led into a room styled like a library, then seated at a bar with a cocktail menu to choose a complimentary drink. A stylist will then offer advice on the latest clothing trends.

The company is opening 30 personal styling studios in its stores for customers who want advice on everything from a suit to a holiday wardrobe. A stock image is used above [File photo]

The company is opening 30 personal styling studios in its stores for customers who want advice on everything from a suit to a holiday wardrobe. A stock image is used above [File photo]

The company is opening 30 personal styling studios in its stores for customers who want advice on everything from a suit to a holiday wardrobe. A stock image is used above [File photo]

Customers will also get a separate menu with other products and encouraged to try new fragrances, accessories such as belts or wallets, grooming product and spirits such as gin or whisky.

The department store already offers free personal styling advice for both sexes, but expects the new men’s VIP service to be a popular gift for wives and girlfriends looking to treat their other half – or gently encourage them to pick up some new outfits.

It has not yet decided what the service will cost, but any fee will be deducted from purchases made during the visit.

Peter Cross, of John Lewis, said the retailer wants to create a relaxing experience. ‘Men are creatures of habit,’ he added. 

‘A lot of men don’t love shopping and they shop differently from women and will tend to buy the same product.

‘That means that unlike women, who are used to changing their style with the season or the trend, men wear the same thing. We want to encourage men to be bold and have a bit of fun.’ 

The department store already offers free personal styling advice for both sexes, but expects the new men’s VIP service to be a popular gift for wives and girlfriends looking to treat their other half – or gently encourage them to pick up some new outfits. A John Lewis store is pictured above in London's Westfield

The department store already offers free personal styling advice for both sexes, but expects the new men’s VIP service to be a popular gift for wives and girlfriends looking to treat their other half – or gently encourage them to pick up some new outfits. A John Lewis store is pictured above in London's Westfield

The department store already offers free personal styling advice for both sexes, but expects the new men’s VIP service to be a popular gift for wives and girlfriends looking to treat their other half – or gently encourage them to pick up some new outfits. A John Lewis store is pictured above in London’s Westfield

The VIP service is the latest move by the chain’s managing director Paula Nickolds to fight back amid an onslaught from web-only retailers.

In addition to personal styling, John Lewis has been trialling ideas such as yoga classes, rooftop bars and pop-up cinemas.

The company is opening 30 personal styling studios in its stores for customers who want advice on everything from a suit to a holiday wardrobe. 

The VIP service will be available later this year in John Lewis’s flagship store on London’s Oxford Street, but will be introduced more widely if it is successful.

Mr Cross said: ‘We think it’s about time that men got in on the act. It’s got to be done in a way that men love – it’s got to be quick, easy and painless.’

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