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John Lewis Opens QR Code Store


John Lewis has just opened its first virtual store in the UK. This virtual store utilizes QR code technology to make it easy for on-the-go consumers to buy certain items from the retailer.

Specifically, passersby seeing the window display at John Lewis’ sister firm Waitrose’s retail branch in Brighton can simply scan a quick response code to buy a corresponding featured item. The featured items on the window display include John Lewis’ top 30 things to buy for the holidays. The virtual display features a total of 96 products, which the store will offer until the end of December.

The QR codes that accompany the featured items take scanners to a product page on the John Lewis mobile site. If you purchase the product online before 7 pm, you can pick it up at the store starting 2pm the following day.

This means that consumers no longer need to go inside the store, spend time browsing through popular products, and line up at the counter to pay for their purchases. All they need is to whip out their smartphone, fire up their QR code reader app and scan the code to order an item. That’s fast, 24-hour shopping experience for consumers.

The UK-based retailer, which has 28 department stores and 260 supermarkets around the country, is using the launch of its virtual store to promote its “click and collect service.” This click and collect strategy is currently on trial in 94 Waitrose stores and aims to give convenience to consumers by providing them a platform for next-day item pick-up if they order before 7pm.

This is not the first time that John Lewis is incorporating the two-dimensional matrix barcodes in its marketing. The retail company had added QR codes in its Christmas shopping newspaper advertisement in Metro last year. The code resolves to John Lewis’ mobile site.

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