Nespresso is partnering with John Lewis to open two new coffee boutiques.
The luxury brand has been expanding in the UK, because, as Nespresso's UK and Ireland managing director Francisco Nogueira says, the UK consumer "is moving from one that is passionate about tea to one that is passionate about coffee – and especially quality coffee".
The new concessions will be opening in John Lewis Kingston and the John Lewis in Sloane Square.
Nespresso is latching onto a seismic change in UK retail, which began when the Apple stores first opened. It was not only a shop, but a place where people wanted to be. Consumers are going shopping less often, but when they do head to the high street, they are spending more. And they want to have a good experience.
John Lewis and other department stores do not want to be left behind; no retailer wants to be the next BHS. The company has set aside £9m to invest in its beauty halls, and, through its partnership with Nespresso, will be piloting a new consumer experience around coffee.
Customers will be able to talk to coffee specialists in the boutiques and try out the different ranges at "tasting bars". There will also be limited edition lines on sale.
"We already sell our machines in John Lewis, we have a Nespresso corner," Nogueira said. "Now we are trying this pilot. Consumers can buy our machines and also buy the rest of the range."
Nespresso wanted to open a concession in Kingston as it has no outlets in the area. The move is part of the businesses wider expansion strategy – it wants to have a boutique located within an hour of every person in England.
For John Lewis, the partnership will not only make shopping in its stores a more exciting experience, but it also allows the department store to soak up some of the UK's growing enthusiasm for high-quality coffee. Increasingly, the British middle class doesn't just want good coffee in cafes, they want to have a good mug at home too.