John Lewis to trial in-store virtual reality experience for customers

John Lewis & Partners is to trial a new virtual reality experience, called ‘Visualise Your Space’, in some of its stores to help customers visualise new products in their homes.

Guided by John Lewis Partners in three trial shops, customers will be able to put the dimensions, doors and windows of the room they want to update into an iPad via an app, and then drop in John Lewis products to see how their interior ideas would look in their home. They will also be able to change the colour of the walls and floors to create a complete look.

Users will be able to view their designed room on either an iPad, as a 3D room set in augmented reality, or wear a virtual reality headset to ‘walk around’ the room. Afterwards, customers will be emailed a copy of the room they created with shoppable links.

Caitlin Price, John Lewis Partner and Head of Buying for Furniture and Flooring, said: “Designing a new look for a room can be a lot of fun and a chance to express our personalities. However, customers tell us that uncertainty about what new products will look like in their home can make the decision making hard, and in many cases people revert to the safer tones of grey or beige furnishings. 

“This new technology will enable customers to be braver in their choices, and test technology that architects and interior designers have been using to visualise their designs.”

The technology has been developed by the US-based company, Marxent.

The trial will begin at John Lewis & Partners’ Kingston shop on 26 June, in Cambridge on 28 June, and in Horsham on 2 July.