To celebrate the 150th anniversary of John Lewis, the department store will be holding an interactive exhibition charting its history, and opening a new roof garden to London at its Oxford street store
It might seem like the department store John Lewis has been around forever, but this year it celebrates reaching the grand old age of 150. Not an age you can pass by without a little celebration. And no better way to do it than by inviting all its shoppers to get involved too.
So by way of a party, John Lewis will be decorating its roof with a beautiful garden designed by Royal Horticultural Society National Young Designer of the Year, Tony Woods. With some of the best views in town, and host a schedule of events open to customers throughout the summer, this is going to be the place to be when the sun’s out.
As well as a place to relax, the roof garden, which opens on 3rd May, will host events such as pop-up restaurants, film nights, and World Cup parties, all of which will be open to shoppers and members of the public.
The Stories of a Shopkeeper interactive exhibition will also be on the roof of the Cavendish Street shop and will chart the history of the store from it’s beginnings on a cobbled Victorian Street as a draper’s on 2nd May 1864 to the present day and beyond. Visitors will be able to take a peak inside the original space, wandering through dimly lit corridors, seeing the original takings book, and into John Spedan Lewis’ office, where the revolutionary idea that all workers be co-owners, and the birth of the John Lewis Partnership began.
The exhibition tells how World War 2 bombs threatened the future of the company, displays artefacts uncovered from the Oxford Street shop’s bombing in 1940, as well as Lucienne Day prints, and hats worn by Queen Mary on loan from John Lewis. It will look at celebrated brands and designers that have sold their wares on the shop floors, including the retailer’s own textile mill, Herbert Parkinson, with a life-size weave filling the floor and running over the ceiling. Finally, visitors will exit the exhibition with a glimpse into how we will shop, live and look in the future through a creative collaboration with the Royal College of Art.
The roof garden opens on 3rd May 2014 and over the next few weeks further details of the events will be announced on johnlewis.com/JL150.