Archive for the ‘Latest News’ Category

200 Degrees opens its new coffee shop in McArthurGlen East Midlands Designer Outlet

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Speciality coffee roaster 200 Degrees has opened its new coffee shop in the popular McArthurGlen East Midlands Designer Outlet (14th November 2019) – ready to welcome the flurry of festive shoppers.

The new 80-seater shop at Junction 28 of the M1 will bring 16 new jobs to the region, offering freshly roasted coffee sourced directly from the 200 Degrees roast house just 30 minutes away in Nottingham, alongside delicious fresh food, and a range of home brewing gadgets and gifts.

Located in unit 21, the new 1,865 sq. ft. shop will feature the spacious relaxed, modern decor that is unique to 200 Degrees with a coffee bar, fireplace snug area and a large outdoor seating space.

As well as a distinctive and original menu which includes deli style sandwiches, baguettes, salads, soups, cakes and pastries – with plenty of vegan and gluten free options available to eat in or takeaway, the new 200 Degrees festive menu and gift range will be available in the new shop.

Shoppers will be able to get an early flavour of Christmas with a range of spiced hot drinks, winter warming soups and festive gifts, and as part of the range, 200 Degrees has launched The Roast of Christmas Present – Fine Cup award winning beans with festive notes of lemon zest, chocolate and plum.

The Christmas coffee blend is an ideal gift for homebrewers and as part of the festive offering, customers can choose three roast options from 200 Degrees’ full coffee range to make their own mix and match gift packs. Customers can also purchase several freshly roasted coffee blends, coffee gift boxes, brewing recipes, V60’s and AeroPress from the shop, with highly trained baristas on hand to advise on the perfect products and demonstrate coffee making methods.

200 Degrees has also recently announced an exclusive spiced hot drinks range that will be available for shoppers needing a hard-earned rest, made with a turmeric chai – which won Best New Product in 2018 by the Speciality Coffee Association. The range includes home-made Autumn Spiced Syrups, to add a delicious little something to existing coffee favourites, the Spiced Orange Hot Chocolate, made using luxurious melted Belgian chocolate, and the non-alcoholic Warm Spiced Apple Cider – the perfect non-alcoholic, healthy substitute for mulled wine.

Christmas gift vouchers can be purchased from the coffee shop, and are redeemable for all in-store and online products, SAGE brewing equipment and barista courses at the renowned barista schools in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff and Lincoln.

Tom Vincent, co-founder and director at 200 Degrees, said: “We are delighted to be opening our first out of town location in the UK and look forward to welcoming staff and visitors to the outlet in time for the festive season.

“As a prime retail destination in the East Midlands, we are honoured to be serving our freshly roasted coffee blends, food and new festive options to shoppers, alongside our range of high-calibre brewing equipment and gadgets for coffee lovers to recreate the 200 Degrees experience at home.

“As it’s that special time of year, we will have our highly trained staff on hand for advice and to demonstrate equipment to anyone looking to purchase for themselves or for loved ones in the lead up to Christmas.

“We’re keen to welcome fellow workers and flagging shoppers looking to enjoy quality coffee, a bite to eat, use of the WIFI and a relaxed, unique shopping experience. We’ll also be open early for freshly made breakfasts and our takeaway service is second to none if you’re looking to grab a brew and a bite to go.”

200 Degrees, which was set up by Tom and his business partner Rob Darby in 2012, has 11 ‘distinctively independent’ coffee shops as well as its roast house near Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The company has further plans to grow, with a new shop planned for Manchester later this year.

Paul Tyler, centre manager, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Nottingham-based coffee roasters, 200 Degrees Coffee to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet East Midlands. We are passionate about supporting local businesses and are delighted to be able to offer our guests another independent food and beverage offering.”

Opening times for the new East Midlands Designer Outlet coffee shop is 8am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 7pm on Saturdays and 9am – 5pm on Sundays.

The 24th annual MAPIC Awards winners announced

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

The winners of the 2019 MAPIC Awards were revealed last night (Thursday 14th November 2019) at the 24th annual MAPIC Awards ceremony.
Organised by Reed MIDEM, MAPIC – the International Retail Property Market – is currently being held in Cannes from 13 to 15 November.
The winners were selected this year in Cannes combining delegates’ votes on-site (30%) and the jury’s own votes (70%).
The winners of the MAPIC Awards 2019 are:
BEST F&B CONCEPT
Boxpark Wembley
UK
BEST RETAIL GLOBAL EXPANSION
Niu Flagship Italia
Italy
BEST RETAIL CONCEPT
Nous épiceries anti-gaspi
France
BEST STORE DESIGN
Microsoft
London, UK
Submitted by: Gensler
BEST LEISURE CONCEPT
Arkose
France
BEST RETAIL INNOVATION
Wishibam For Business
France
BEST SHOPPING CENTRE
ICONSIAM
Bangkok, Thailand
Architect: Benoy and Urban Architect
Developer: Siam Piwat
BEST OUTLET CENTRE
Torino Outlet Village
Turin, Italy
Architect: Claudio Silvestrin
Developer: Arcus Real Estate
BEST RETAIL CITY CENTRE REGENERATION
City Plaza 
Wuppertal, Germany
Architect: Chapman Taylor
Developer: Signature Capital
BEST FUTURA SHOPPING CENTRE
Val Saint Lambert Free Time Park
Seraing, Belgium
Architect: Christian Sauvage (retail), Minale Design Strategy (Design), Chapman Taylor (leisure), Altiplan (offices)
Developer: Immobilière du Val Saint Lambert
RETAILER OF THE YEAR
Tommy Hilfiger
The Netherlands
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
Jewel Changi Airport
Architect: Safdie Architects
Developer: Jewel Changi Airport Trustee Pte Ltd, a joint venture by Changi Airport Group & CapitaLand
INDUSTRY ACHIEVEMENT
Chantal Zimmer
Déléguée Générale
Fédération Française de la Franchise
The MAPIC Awards jury was composed of influential personalities from the sector:
  • Mayte LEGEAY, Senior Asset Manager Europe, Resolution Property (UK)
  • Alain BOUTIGNY, Editor-in-chief, Sites Commerciaux (France)
  • Edoardo FAVRO, CEO, RES Srl – Real Estate Strategist (Italy)
  • Steffen FRIEDLEIN, Managing Director Leasing, ECE Projektmanagement (Germany)
  • Ana GUEDES DE OLIVEIRA, Executive Director Developments, Sonae Sierra (Portugal)
  • Isabelle HERVOUET, Group Director of Digital, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (France)
  • Barry HUGHES, Design Director, Benoy (USA)
  • Anders LILJENSTOLPE, Managing Director Russia & CIS, JLL (Russia)
  • Charles READ, Managing Director, Blooloop (UK)
  • Stefan SJÖSTRAND, Global Commercial & Digital Manager, Ingka Centres (Sweden)
  • Fabien STUTZ, Senior Director Real Estate & Store Construction EMEA, Nike (The Netherlands)
  • Wilson TAN, Chief Retail Innovation Officer, CapitaLand Group (Singapore)
  • Justin TAYLOR, Co-Founder, P-Three (UK)

Find out more on the MAPIC website. 

Uniqlo chooses sustainable balloon arches to launch stores in Watford and Islington

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Japanese fashion retailer, Uniqlo, opened the doors of its new Watford branch on Thursday 3rd October and were delighted to report strong sales results in its first launch weekend. Watford was closely followed by a new Islington branch, opened on 24th October, as part of Uniqlo’s significant growth plans across Europe, including further UK store openings in 2020.

The brand has worked with Chesham-based corporate balloon printer and merchandiser, B-Loony, across a number of store openings, and chose to use fully sustainable giant red and white balloon arches at both store entrances to draw attention to the newly opened store in the Watford Intu Shopping Centre.

Elliott Fletcher, Marketing Manager of Uniqlo UK said:
‘The retail environment is tough across the board, but there is still scope for retailers to do well on the UK high street. We are expanding in the UK to grow our presence outside of our well-established London stores, as well as entering new markets across Europe.’

‘We use balloon arches because we find that they create interest around the store entrances when we have new store openings. Once people spot a small crowd gathering, shoppers are drawn into the store to see what else is going on. Knowing that the materials are sustainable is really important for us, as we like to reassure our customers that we are considering the impact of our store openings on the environment.

“For our latest new market opening in Italy, all our promotional material was either sustainable or recycled. Customers presume that balloons are not sustainable, so we like the reassurance that B-Loony provide by printing their biodegradable message onto each balloon.’

B-Loony has recently launched its new sustainable retail merchandising range, including biodegradable and recyclable natural rubber latex balloons, cardboard balloon holders and sustainable bunting. Last month the company took home the Save the Planet 2019 Award at the European Carton Excellence Awards in Malta.

Andy MacInnes, Commercial Director at B-Loony has seen a rise in the requirement for high street clients to source sustainable merchandising solutions.

‘We work very closely with clients to find sustainable alternatives for their marketing activities. Our innovation team was tasked with finding an alternative product to replace single use plastic balloons sticks, and they spent a number of years developing our award winning cardboard balloon holders. We now also offer sustainable bunting, and are working to remove single use plastics from our business. Of course balloons have never been made of plastic, but many people don’t realise that, so we find printing our message onto each balloon helps inform shoppers that natural rubber latex is already biodegradable.’

Samsung KX redefines the Retail job of the future at new London experience space

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Samsung KX puts staff personalities, skills and personal passions at the heart of its recruitment drive

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd opened the doors to Samsung KX – a brand new experience space located in London’s Coal Drops Yard – in July 2019, and with the opening created a new kind of retail role. Samsung KX is the latest venture by the brand as it adapts to the demands of modern consumers and looks to redefine the traditional retail concept. This includes the central role of the traditional ‘shop assistant’ – Samsung KX staff are selected on their passions, skills and personality to help bring the space to life, instead of focusing on traditional sales targets.

Creating 85 jobs for Londoners, with 166 applications for every one position on offer from a pool of 14,673 applications, Samsung KX broke the mould by looking for candidates outside of traditional tech retail roles in areas such as in hospitality, theme parks, and the entertainment sectors – people who understand how to put the customer first and can be much more theatrical in the way they engage with consumers. This allows staff to focus more on using their diverse skillsets, passions and training to bring the KX experience to life for guests and do the best job they can, showcase their personalities, and bring their unique style to their role, secondary to selling product. With some members of the team speaking up to five languages, and with others trained in signed language, the KX team makes the space accessible and open to everyone.

Samsung KX is a truly unique space which requires unique members of staff. Reinventing the role of the ‘shop assistant’, Samsung KX employed a range of multi-talented individuals, including Great Britain and national level athletes in sports including skydiving, American football, golf and swimming, barristers, performing arts professionals, photographers, broadcasters and creatives, to name a few.

To give staff freedom in their roles, Samsung KX worked closely with Mash Staffing to provide an entirely new and bespoke training programme. At a purpose-built training venue, staff were given personal and professional development training over a four-week period prior to opening. This not only ensured they were fully comfortable with Samsung KX’s new style of retail customer service, but built a sense of teamwork across the staff to tie in with the focus on community, starting inside the space.

Mash, alongside Samsung KX, explored ways to aid the development of these multitalented individuals, creating a bespoke KXi app which acts as a staff portal, where staff can experience everything from training content, weekly schedules and a wellness hub. The app encourages staff to digitally “check-in” after each shift, sharing with Mash how they are feeling and why, to help measure overall engagement. Happy staff make for better experiences and Samsung KX puts great emphasis on creating a positive experience for its guests.

Tanya Weller, Director of Samsung Showcase, KX said: “Samsung KX team members are customer experience ambassadors, who we want to feel empowered in their role and bring our showcase of products to life using their personalities. A big part of the training programme was to inspire staff with the vision for Samsung KX, and move away from a mentality of selling products – we’re doing this because we’re confident that we’ve cracked what makes retail great.”

Chris Wareham, Managing Director, Mash Staffing said: “Mash has been privileged to work with Samsung KX on their mission to redefine retail. Through combining Samsung’s attitude to innovation with Mash Staffing’s people skills we have created a unique environment where technology and human interaction meet. In response to the Samsung KX team’s eagerness to invest in people, Mash applied the latest techniques in staff training and development. We’re confident this approach will bring the future of retail to today’s world.

To learn more about the diverse range of events and experiences on offer, visit Samsung KX at London’s Coal Drops Yard, or online at www.samsung.com/uk/kx

Dulux Trade launches a new version of its Commercial Colour Schemer Tool for retail design

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Dulux Trade has upgraded its colour schemer tool to make exploring colours and visualising schemes in the retail industry even easier and more effective.

The Dulux Trade Colour Schemer is a multi-platform, mobile-optimised tool that can be used on any device to allow customers to create professional branded mood boards, all in a few clicks.

It enables users to review and adapt a range of retail colour schemes created by colour experts at Dulux Trade.

Schemes are created around a chosen start colour, such as flooring or furnishings already in place, a preferred wall colour or the signature shade of a specific brand. The software then renders a colour scheme within the selected image and the start colour or co-ordinating shades can be swapped in and out, or viewed in different images, until the desired outcome is achieved.

The tool draws on the extensive experience the team has in developing harmonious colour palettes for use throughout stores to help retailers achieve their objectives, from maximising the appeal of products to customer wayfinding, including recent projects with Waitrose & Partners and Ikea.

It is straightforward to design a selection of coordinated spaces for a project in one session as the tool offers a variety of room types such as shop floors and cafe or dining areas.

The resulting mood boards can be saved and shared as PDFs or accurately colour printed by Dulux Trade and delivered to site, allowing designs to be shared with clients, colleagues or building users for evaluation and sign off.

Once a colour scheme has been perfected and approved, it can be executed with confidence in the end result.

The new and improved tool now includes a wider selection of photography, pre-coloured mood boards and the ability to toggle between different colours in the mood board.

Paul Fleming, marketing manager contractor specifier at Dulux Trade, said: “Colour is an essential element of any space and can have a major impact in a retail setting. We want to enable our customers to use colour more easily and effectively.

“The colour schemer allows users to draw on the expertise of Dulux Trade to build designs that create the desired outcome for a space and its occupants, whatever the sector or scale.”

Paul adds: “The colour schemer is already in regular use by retail customers across the country, and with the added flexibility and choice introduced with this upgrade, it will prove an even more effective tool for creating tailored colour designs to meet our customer needs.”

Dulux Trade is committed to enabling the best use of colour in retail spaces and the upgrade comes shortly after the manufacturer launched a must-have tool to allow professionals to match the colour of multiple surfaces to the nearest shade of Dulux Trade paint.

The bespoke Dulux Trade Colour Sensor can be used in partnership with the colour schemer and is the ideal tool to match a colour on site. The colour sensor can identify the closest match to a brand’s colour or logo in seconds, allowing the user to input the exact colour code into the colour schemer, to develop a colour scheme based around or tailored to a signature brand’s colours.

To use the Dulux Trade Colour Schemer, visit: www.duluxtrade.co.uk/colourschemer

US Cosmetics Giant Morphe Opens at Manchester Arndale

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

  • Morphe makes its Manchester debut with New Cannon Street store
  • Morphe’s arrival adds to the centre’s strong beauty and cosmetics offering

M&G Real Estate and intu, the joint owners of Manchester Arndale, have welcomed beauty brand Morphe as the latest addition to its beauty and cosmetics line-up.

Morphe, which has leased around 4,500 sq ft on New Cannon Street, started life in Los Angeles just eleven years ago.

Founded by brother and sister duo Linda and Chris Tawil, it was one of the first start-up beauty companies to harness the power of social media and influencers to grow the brand. Morphe is now an Instagram sensation more than 10 million followers and an impressive celebrity following.

Morphe, which sells an extensive collection of makeup, brushes, tools and accessories, has also opened stores at Nottingham’s intu Victoria Centre, Newcastle’s intu Eldon Square and in London, Birmingham and Liverpool.

Colin Flinn, regional managing director at intu comments on behalf of the joint owners: “We’re really excited about Morphe’s opening at Manchester Arndale – the store brings a new and innovative beauty experience to the city and further strengthens the centre’s fashion and beauty credentials.

“Leading internationally known brands choosing the centre as a key location for their expansion in northern England is further testament to Manchester Arndale’s prominent position as one of the UK’s leading retail hubs. The centre is the ideal location from which to grow the Morphe’s regional fanbase.”

Mark Spillman, Morphe General Manager EMEA:

“We’re confident that Manchester Arndale’s high annual footfall, a great mix of international brands, and its setting at the heart of Manchester city centre makes it the perfect location for our fifth UK store outside of London and our Manchester debut. We’re pleased to join the line-up of huge international brands at the centre, and look forward to bringing our professional-grade makeup products and expert advice to Manchester shoppers.”

Manchester Arndale is one of the UK’s largest city centre shopping malls, welcoming over 40 million visitors per annum. It already boasts an impressive line-up of more than 200 shops and restaurants, including national, international and local brands.

Morphe’s opening follows Foot Locker and Specsavers’ move into larger units in the centre – setting up their flagship stores.

In April, Uniqlo opened its flagship store for the North at Manchester Arndale. The store, occupies a completely redesigned 21,000 sq ft unit on Market Street.

AllSaints also recently committed to a new ten-year lease on a new unit in the centre, following several years of strong trading on Market Street. The contemporary fashion brand last month opened the doors of its beautifully designed new store on New Cannon Street, joining a line-up of leading fashion names like Gap, Monki, Superdry, River Island, Victoria’s Secret and Victoria’s Secret Pink.

This comes alongside the addition of Metro Bank, men’s clothing store Jack & Jones, fantasy game retailer Warhammer and home and body cosmetics brand Rituals, to Manchester Arndale’s line-up.

The centre’s food and beverage offering has also been boosted by the arrival of popular burger and shake restaurant Archie’s to the Halle Place food court.

Manchester Arndale is owned jointly by M&G Real Estate and intu. The retained agents are Time Retail Partners and Metis Real Estate Advisors.

High-spending hopes for UK retail holiday season

November 15th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

By Giles Ivey, UK CEO MiQ

2019: certainly an uncertain year overall, but as we career head-first into another holiday season, hopes are high for retail. MiQ’s new 2019 Holiday Shopping Study shows 90% of UK shoppers planning to spend the same or more this holiday than last. This is particularly prevalent in the 18-34 age bracket, with nearly half (45%) of UK millennials planning to spend more.

So for advertisers aiming to capitalise on this and run a successful holiday shopping campaign, it’s important to understand consumer behaviours and how they affect the opportunity to show ads to their target audience, and the cost of doing so. To that end, where, when and what will Brits spend on this year?

Where: The ever-rising mobile tide

Our report shows shopping will be mostly online, with less than a quarter of the UK considering any offline purchases. This is the case even on Black Friday: among those planning to shop in-store, more than half (61%) plan to shop online as well, making digital strategies critical for marketers looking to capitalise on these events to drive sales. While desktop and laptop just beat mobile to the post when it comes to final purchases, mobile must not be forgotten: it’s the preferred device for consumers to maintain wishlists and compare products. Those who do, will spend more than three hours per week conducting pre-sale activity on a mobile device. As such, media buyers should focus their spend on mobile at these times.

When: The even-earlier birds catch the worm

Along with the question of “where” to promote deals, comes “when?”. While September kick-starts the plans for spending, the end of October is peak purchase season, earlier than the “event” sales moments in the holiday season.

That said, most holiday shoppers (75%) plan to shop on at least one of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Boxing Day – and nearly half (43%) on all three. This reiterates the impact these super-hyped occasions will have on end-of-year results for retail businesses and as such, while it’s wise for digital marketing strategies to start mid-Q3, even with inflated inventory costs, these “event” times are still critical for advertisers in driving sales.

What: Chocolates, booze and socks – classic present choices dominate

Perhaps inevitably given the holiday season, food or alcohol products are what UK shoppers are most likely to click the buy button for, where the average buyer will spend £174.46. Clothing is hot on its heels, with nearly three-quarters planning to spend in this product category.

So: Think smart, target the loyal and the new

To truly maximise the opportunity this season brings, marketers must be smart and selective about where and when to activate in order to maximise budgets and resources.

While our Holiday Shopper Study is a useful starting point, to effectively prepare, businesses need to combine as much historic data, consumer trends and deep customer understanding as possible to help predict customer patterns.

Smart use of data and insights – ultimately the “when and how” to reach and influence customers – is the differentiator to keep your customers keen (vital, or your competitors might take advantage). It will also help them expand their purchases via well-timed offers and informed suggestions of what they may not realise they are in-market for. Last but not least, tailored activities across the customer journey will also entice and engage new customers.

But while it’s vital to set up for success, it’s not just in the preparation; keep building on this bed of insights so you’re in a position to optimise your marketing based on what consumers are doing in real time. Remaining vigilant and responsive throughout the season will ensure maximum conversion and minimal wasted spend.

GET READY FOR THE NEW LEGO® STORE AT BULLRING and GRAND CENTRAL OPENING ON 21st NOVEMBER 

November 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

Come and enjoy the opening of new LEGO Store at the Bullring and Grand Central, Birmingham with a variety of unique promotions and Grand Opening celebrations 

The new store in the Bullring and Grand Central, Hammerson’s flagship destination, will be opening on November 21st just in time for Black Friday and Christmas. 

This brand-new LEGO store is the perfect destination for all brick fans, with the widest selection of the latest LEGO sets, a LEGO minifigure scanner – that will let customers scan their handprint to transform them into LEGO minifigures before they enter the store, as well as a whole host of exciting in-store play experiences, activities and events only available in LEGO Stores. 

A first for LEGO Stores in the UK, the Bullring and Grand Central LEGO Store feature state of the art dynamic lighting that will enhance the in-store experience and create a unique multi-sensory experience for customers, as well as a ‘digital ribbon’ of screens above its shelving, that helps create an engaging story within the retail space for customers like never before. 

The Lego store at Intu Milton Keynes reopens after refurbishment.

To celebrate the Grand Opening of the store, an in-store event will be taking place between 12th-15th December showing off the full range of LEGO products available, with the first 500 people in-store everyday receiving an ‘I LOVE LEGO Store Birmingham’ tile. In addition to this, those spending over £100 will receive a mini LEGO Gingerbread House and with purchases over £125, customers will receive a special LEGO Store set that is available only from store opening events. 

Alongside the range of in-store promotions, the LEGO Hidden Side Bus will also be making a stop in Birmingham for the grand opening (12th -15th December), making this is not an event to be missed. 

Alison Wood, LEGO District Manager said: “We cannot wait to bring more play experiences, fun and building to Birmingham. The new store is loaded full of exciting LEGO big builds, play areas and activities. You can even build your own minifigure and take it home, something that is unique to LEGO Stores.” 

Iain Mitchell, UK Commercial Director at Hammerson, said: “Across our portfolio, we’re targeting brands that not only offer a great product, but also deliver a really engaging in-store experience, and the LEGO Group does that in spades. It’s testament to the strength and popularity of Bullring as a retail and leisure destination that The LEGO Group has chosen to open there. I’m sure the new store will be a real footfall driver at Bullring, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas when we’re all on the look-out for that special gift.” 

What’s more, the brand-new LEGO store will offer the full range of exciting new products only available direct from LEGO stores and LEGO.com including the likes of the LEGO 1989 Batmobile, LEGO Creator Expert Harley Davidson Fatboy, plus many more. 

The Lego store at Intu Milton Keynes reopens after refurbishment.

And if that was not enough, the new store will also offer plenty of benefits for LEGO VIP members including exclusive VIP gifts with purchase, double point events and much more. 

The Lego store at Intu Milton Keynes reopens after refurbishment.

John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners launch first ever joint Christmas TV advert, ‘Excitable Edgar’

November 14th, 2019 | Latest News | 0 Comments

In their first ever joint Christmas campaign, John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners have come together to create an advert which tells the heartwarming story of a little girl and her friendship with an excitable young dragon.

‘Excitable Edgar’ is a two minute thirty second advert set to the iconic song ‘Can’t fight this feeling’ by REO Speedwagon and re-recorded by Dan Smith, lead singer of the band Bastille. It centres around the theme of bringing people together at Christmas time through delicious food and thoughtful gifts, which show loved ones how much you care.

The story follows a little girl, Ava, who is eagerly preparing for Christmas along with her family and friends. This includes an enthusiastic dragon called Edgar who, unable to contain his excitement for the festivities, is finding it increasingly hard to control his instinct to breathe fire.

The ad follows the pair as they attempt to join in with seasonal activities – with some unexpected consequences. Ice-skating is brought to a standstill when Edgar, in his festive excitement, accidentally melts the ice-rink. A carefully built snowman is reduced to a puddle and the annual dressing of the village Christmas tree ends in disaster once Edgar is involved.

Worried he will ruin the Christmas festivities even further, Edgar shuts himself away. But his best friend Ava dreams up the ideal way to show Edgar how much she cares about him. She presents him with the perfect gift – a delicious Christmas pudding – which ensures he plays a unique role in the spectacular village feast, lighting up Christmas in his own special way.

Martin George, Partner and Customer Director, Waitrose & Partners, said: “The magic of friendship and making our loved ones feel special, are some of the most wonderful things about this time of year. The Christmas pudding in the final scene is not just the showpiece of a spectacular feast which brings all the villagers together. It’s a reminder that a thoughtful gesture – whether that’s a delicious meal or a special gift – can mean so much.”

Craig Inglis, Partner and Customer Director, John Lewis & Partners, said: “I’m delighted our two brands have come together for this year’s Christmas campaign. It started from a spark of an idea – a little dragon’s excitement about Christmas – and became the story of how someone goes the extra mile for their best friend to give just the right gift. It’s a funny, heart-warming story that will resonate with our customers as they seek out the perfect gifts for their loved ones this Christmas.”

Dan Smith, lead singer of alt-pop band Bastille said; “It’s so great to be asked to be part of this year’s John Lewis Christmas ad. As a band we’ve always had a lot of fun putting a twist on classic songs, and it’s been so good to be a part of this orchestral version of an eighties classic. We’re hoping we get an Edgar for Christmas too!”

From 6.00am on Thursday 14 November, Partners at both John Lewis and Waitrose will be the first to share the advert on their social media channels using the hashtag #WeArePartners and #ExcitableEdgar. It will then be launched on both brands’ social media channels and on Johnlewis.com and Waitrose.com at 7.00am the same morning.

The ad will first air on television during ITV’s The X Factor: Celebrity on Saturday 16 November.

To watch the advert, click here

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