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08.05.2015
It is fitting that there are signs for Buckingham Palace situated outside John Lewis Head Office in London Victoria, as the department store group has become something approaching retail royalty in the last few years.
By establishing itself in such a powerful position in the sector, the retailer that was always been regarded as the industry bellwether has inevitably moved ahead of the crowd. Director of Retail Operations at John Lewis Andrew Murphy agrees, telling Retail Gazette this week: “There is nothing about us that is a retail bellwether. Statistics back up this claim, with John Lewis’s 28 department stores earlier this month reporting the biggest percentage increase in sales of any seven-day period this financial year. The Retail Operations Director is someone who knows John Lewis through and through, having worked at the partnership for 18 years in a number of different roles. He joined the company straight from university and started out in various management positions in his home country of Scotland before venturing south of the border, where he first worked in the High Wycombe store, then in London’s Oxford Street and finally at the partnership’s Newcastle branch. Head Office beckoned and he took on positions at this level prior to returning to Scotland, where he was made Managing Director (MD) of John Lewis Aberdeen in 2002, MD of the Edinburgh store one year later and joint MD of both outlets in 2007. Two years ago Murphy was appointed Director of Operational Development, where he reported to the man who he eventually replaced as Retail Operations Director in the spring of 2010. The board member admits that his time in the current role has coincided with some fantastic growth at John Lewis, and has been a fun challenge. But what is driving this growth and what is John Lewis doing differently to make it one of the standout retail performers of the last 12 months? Challenges facing the industry in the months ahead are well documented, with consumer confidence expected to be low as the government’s austerity measures begin to bite and many fashion retailers passing on increased material costs to customers.
Murphy agrees that everyone will be affected by economic forces asserting pressure on the sector, with the impact of inflation and potentially higher interest rates apparently posing more of a concern than this month’s VAT rise.
And with an evolving high street, which is fighting hard to stay relevant to people’s changing attitudes to retail, John Lewis is set to remain a high achiever despite around 70 per cent of its portfolio residing on these very streets.
It may often seem that John Lewis, like Mary Poppins, is practically perfect in every way, but there is always room for improvement in such a fast-changing industry, and Murphy is certainly not naive enough to let the partnership rest on its laurels. New training modules are planned for staff in the year ahead and there will be a strong focus on improving its delivery services further as an increasing number of people order goods online.
Murphy has been at John Lewis since 1992, and is himself an example of the well-documented high staff retention rate the partnership boasts compared to other firms in the industry. It also appears the company benefits from allowing staff to share in the financial success of the retailer by making them partners in the firm. With customers evidently very happy, the workforce content and senior management oozing confidence, is it any wonder that business is booming at John Lewis? Now in its 2nd year, The Tech Expo Conference & Exhibition is designed to Explore, Educate and Engage our audience in the Contextual use of Emerging Technologies. As we near our final update on the Denver Union Station redevelopment, there is one final milestone in the project that has been reached: the historic station is now open to the public! To sum it up in a few words, the inside of the historic station looks absolutely incredible. The second level bar will feature multiple couches and chairs along the eastern portion of the mezzanine. Last but not least, here are two views I was able to capture from the mezzanine level; one from a hotel room looking towards the Union Station neighborhood and the other from the mezzanine bar! Denver should be proud, most cities will never have a chance to have a great project like this.


However, the retail and restaurant choices, as well as the programming for the plaza, need to be well executed and closely mirror market demand in order for the area to flourish and develop a strong market identity. Obviously, time will tell if the current mix of tenants will add or detract from the vibrancy of the Union Station. Regardless, this project is something we can be proud of, it restores a classic piece of architecture to its former glory, and creates a stream of revenue and draws visitors that may not have been capitalized on. We are lucky that our populace is still willing to make investments in projects like these, and I think we’ll reap a 10 fold return over time. It is definitely more hotel bar and lobby than train waiting room, which changes the feel of it but keeps much more activity for more hours in the hall. Keep in mind that the entire mid-section of the great hall is still roped off, which may make it feel more cluttered since you cannot pass through that central space yet.
Whoever painted the ceilings at the Venetian in Las Vegas could do a great job on this large white ceiling of the Union Station. Agree Mark B, the benches and tables in front of the Terminal Bar are very low-grade — but the neo-retro benches are very nice. We can only hope that the low grade bleacher seating in front of Terminal Bar is replaced with more appropriate tables and chairs and that the cluttered cheap looking mismatched sofas, chairs and tables in the center are either entirely removed (or if deemed absolutely necessary to have an adjunct hotel lobby in the center of the public space) replaced with more stylish and complimentary seating – how about black or espresso colored leather chairs. While the planners, designers and developers have done a lot of work, they must remember that this is a public space and therefore needs to serve the needs of all the people using it, not just the hotel owners.
That they reused to old benches is a nice touch, but it’s a completely different situation that at Union Station. I went down last night to get some pictures and to see how they cleaned it up after the gala last weekend.
3) Why is the following sign posted on one of the door “During Rockies Game BACK GATES CLOSED. 9) Why the limited restroom facilities for all the thousands of traveling public in the terminal? Bottom line I am sure it will all get worked out in the end and it is a welcome addition to LODO. 3) Why is the following sign posted on one of the door “During Rockies Game BACK GATES CLOSED. I think it’s because they are getting ready to install the large piece of public art up on the bridge.
After the 26th, the upstairs bar will be limited to hotel guests until 4:00 PM, after which it will be open to the public. In later years, we boarded from a kind of cellar under the northeast wing, downstairs from the restaurant, a greasy spoon. I think many people here are projecting their own personal design judgements rather than thinking about this objectively, and are focusing way too much on the little details rather than the big picture. Ted, I don’t mean to be contradictory, but if you really read over most of the above comments, you will note that the majority of the comments entered by myself and many others are not categorically negative, rather, the vast majority of those comments express gratitude and enthusiasm for most of the work completed on DUS thus far, but, also contain points of constructive criticism for elements that in the personal opinion of the commentators miss the high points that so many of us had hoped to see executed during the renovation. Run by Charles, Joe, & Helen Zouki, BP Airds is equipped with Beacon Back Office and Beacon POS. To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. Almost a third of retail shareholders opposed Royal Dutch Shell’s A?40bn takeover of BG Group, according to exclusive research by The Sunday Telegraph.


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Nothing particularly different to before appears to be the answer, although Murphy credits the retailer’s buying team for the vital role it plays in the overall business model.
On Saturday July 12th, Union Station had a soft opening, meaning only a portion of the ground floor retail and amenities inside the building are open.
Everything from the new benches and couches, to the historically accurate chandeliers, this building has gone through a complete transformation. I’ve been in regular contact with DUSPA and RTD on this issue and bike racks are coming. Stocked with a variety of shop items & supplies, as well as a busy Auto Workshop, BP Airds has a bustling customer base. With the bar view, I stacked a light and dark exposed photo so you could see what was out the window along with the well lit bar! This in it self would not be so bad if the bridge over the tracks would be open to access Wewatta Street. I feel better seeing these, but, I was there staying at the Crawford last night and I saw our train hall in person and unfortunately does not look as nice as the wide lens and color enhancement feature of the camera allow. Seeing it with my own eyes, the hall is cluttered with WAY too much furniture that appears clumsily placed. It is going to be the first thing people see when they get off that train from the airport or where ever.



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