Customers at John Lewis and Waitrose will soon have the ability to book a slot to dodge long queues. This is part of the new plan implemented by the company, who are fighting back after the Covid-19 lockdown.

Dodging queues

As of Monday the 24th of August, shoppers can pre-book a time slot to miss long queues. This scheme is one of two which is designed to attract customers back to its stores. Shoppers who are greeted with a long wait on arrival to the store will also be allowed to join a virtual queue from their smartphone, which will instead allow them to wait in their car or the cafe.

The store has also announced a new interactive sports zone, which will feature high-end clothes and exercise products, giving shoppers a live studio experience. These will open in stores across the country, including Horsham, Southampton and High Wycombe.

New plans

These moves were announced by Dame Sharon White as part of a plan to reinvent the department store. She has also announced plans to turn empty shops into inexpensive homes and expand their products into the garden sector. Retail executives are also increasing how much they invest in online shopping and are trying to maximise in-shop sales.

The trial

The queuing app has been implemented so that customers have a better shopping experience when the colder weather sets in. During the trial, shoppers will also be sent a code by text, or be asked to scan a QR barcode. When it is nearly time for their slot, they will be sent a text message letting them know they can come in. The new app is called Quidini, and uses technology to enable staff to track the number of customers in the shop, ensuring that it does not become overcrowded.

Peter Cross, director at John Lewis, said: “This brand-new trial will let you wait for your turn in line from the comfort of your car, ensuring that everyone can continue to shop safely and seamlessly.”

This move from John Lewis and Waitrose is great for customers who want to visit the store again but are put off by potential waiting times.