John Lewis continued to focus on services as a way to its customers’ heart as today it announced it had bought Opun, which manages home improvement projects on customers’ behalf.
Over the last year the department store group has taken new approaches to customer service as it looks to find its place in 21st century retailing. Last year it introduced online booking for home trade services, and since then has launched two stores, in Oxford and at Westfield London, with a focus on concierge-style services for customers, organising their in-store experience as if a concierge in a hotel. That might mean booking a place in a workshop on lighting, a table in the restaurant or a session with a personal stylist. At the time of the Oxford store opening (pictured), John Lewis managing director Paula Nickolds, said: “As part of our plans to differentiate the John Lewis brand and to reinvent the department store for the 21st century, our shops continue to be a place where customers come and experience our brand – the physical manifestation of what we stand for. More than a route to selling things, our Oxford shop is a place that aims to inspire and delight our customers and is entirely focused on customer experience.”
With the acquisition of Opun, the department store continues its emphasis on customer service.
Sean Allam, director of commercial operations at John Lewis, said: “John Lewis is known for its home product offer, and for delivering exceptional customer service. Opun’s commitment to end-to-end customer service chimes with our values and we think it’s a great fit for John Lewis customers. This acquisition will improve our capability in the home services market, built through our own trials with John Lewis Home Solutions.”
Rod Brown and John Cushing, who founded Opun three years ago, said: “We founded Opun with a view to revolutionising the home improvement experience, putting customer values first and delivering a world-class service using technology as our backbone. We are delighted to be joining John Lewis, which shares the same values as Opun.”
The business will now continue to use the Opun name while operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the partnership.
Image courtesy of John Lewis.