If you go down to Oxford Street today – to the John Lewis branch, more precisely – you might be in for a nice surprise. Just over half-term, the department store unveiled a £4 million revamp of the children’s floor and it’s a beauty.
We were invited to the launch of Fun on Four (the kids’ department on the 4th Floor) and the babes were literally buzzing from all the eye candy.
The new 31,000 square foot department offers a fully immersive play experience, with toys to jiggle and fiddle with at every turn.
Where do I start? There’s the Nintendo Area where even my 2-year-old took a spin on Mario Kart Wii.
Right next to this section is the Hall of Lego, with giant Lego Star Wars figures and a mind-boggling array of blocks. I suggested they set up a Lego Duplo play table, so the younger ones can get stacking too.
Other highlights include a Reading Room with magnetic ‘make your own story’ wall and a Haberdashery area where they’ll be running crafting sessions for visitors with an itch to stitch.
I would have liked to spend more time on the fashion rails (brands like Fat Face and Polarn O Pyret ) but the boys became glued to Scalextric.
As usual, John Lewis gets top marks for convenience and customer focus. It’s a stunning array all on one floor and if you feel overwhelmed, there are handy information stations where shoppers can browse and buy products in-store at the touch of a button.
I love that you can entertain the bubbas and check off most of your gift list in one go, while stopping for tea breaks in the lovely Coffee Shop.
At the launch, we also got a first peek at John Lewis’s Top 10 Toys for Christmas. Although it was obvious what products my boys couldn’t take their hands off.
Paper Jamz guitars? Rock on.
JOHN LEWIS TOP 10 CHRISTMAS TOYS
1. JOHN LEWIS OWN BRAND Giant piano mat £30
2. EXCLUSIVE Holiday Barbie £34.95
3. EXCLUSIVE Lego Cool Cruiser £34.95
4. EXCLUSIVE Lego Sort and Store head £39.95
5. EXCLUSIVE Sylvanian John Lewis department store £79.95
6. Hexbug Original £10.95
7. Paper Jamz Autotune mic £49.95
8. Fur Real Cookie £69.95
9. V Tech Innotab £79.95
10. Early Rider classic bike £109