John Lewis – We Were Never Knowingly Underwhelmed

The Superstore John Lewis opened its doors on Wednesday for their Unwrapped Event for Card Holders – A Special event, where great deals could be had, reductions in every floor, Competitions and Golden tickets given with every purchase and a special goodie bag for the first 50 Attendees. Well we went along to see what was on offer.

Oxford street at Christmas time = Hell. Sure the lights are up, people are stopping, standing, doing nothing and I suppose that if you like shopping it may be fun but for us its just frustrating.  To get to John Lewis you have to fight through this crowd of people and then some.

We arrived at 5.30pm when the event started at 6pm and as with everything in the UK there was already a gigantic queue, if you want to know what that queue was for ….. well, nobody knows, not even the people at the front.

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So we walked past the queue and headed for the members of staff who at 6pm would be handing out the goodie bags. Well at 5.45pm the bags were handed to one member of staff who called out to her friends, literally by name and handed them the goodie bags. The rule was one per customer well I call Bullshit, One woman took 5 bags and put them in her suitcase. All in all the bags were handed out within 5 minutes, with said member of staff hugging the lucky winners.

Like with most of these events no members of staff knew what was going on, so we had to find our own way around the ‘event’.

John Lewis itself was still very much open to the public, with other customers wondering what the hell was going on. However they soon discovered the free Prosecco, where you were suppose to show your card before a drink was handed to you. Of course the staff didn’t know this till much later in the event, when almost all the alcohol was gone. Of course we aren’t complaining, stupid people giving us free alcohol well don’t mind if I do.

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We went to one of the sections where we actually needed a product and took it to the check out to pay and receive the special Golden ticket. The member of staff scanned the barcode asked for payment and then refused to give a Golden Ticket, first stating you had to spend over 50 pounds, then after hesitating for another excuse came up with it had to be in the Christmas section. After showing him the email and pestering him until he relented, John Lewis, if you’re going to advertise something at least make sure your staff are briefed. He finally gave us the ticket and we won…..

“A prize in our Unwrapped ask a member of staff.”

Well we asked and was directed to every single floor until one person, by chance knew where we had to go.

On our meandering search for this “Unwrapped” we walked through the Christmas Section, where wreathes were ranging in prices from My god thats expensive to are you kidding me! Well needless to say we didn’t buy any of that, instead opting for the more normal prices of some of the trinkets and tree decorations. On all the advertising it says anything in the Christmas shop was on offer. This is unless its “red” begins with a “C” or I don’t know, come up with an excuse and we heard it. “If you can eat it, it’s not on offer” That was an actual quote from the members of staff. We bought a discounted dog bauble which was 20% off, got another Golden ticket –

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We won a tote bag- woooooo

Then we went to get a Christmas Panettone, which was very much in the Christmas section however no deal, so we left it.

We then went to the lower ground floor to buy some sort of Coffee Grinder, there was no member of staff there to help, instead you had to find coffee grinders hidden amongst other coffee implements. We bought that, and got another gold ticket – Another tote bag (wow!)

We asked if they had another grinder to which we mostly received shrugs or “don’t know, don’t care’ as answers. So we gave up.

We found overpriced Hot Chocolate but bought it anyway, for the price it wasn’t that amazing. We got another golden ticket, we won – Win a hot drink in our restaurant in January. So we would have to return

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So finally we found a member of staff that knew what was going on and pointed us in the direction of the ‘Unwrapped’ Which was two members of staff by a big box, who looked incredibly bored. They took a ticket, looked inside, felt around the box and picked the smallest most convenient present in there and handed it to us. It was a cover for an iPhone 6, this would probably be great if you owned an iPhone 6 but not much use otherwise. When watching to see what they did for other winners, like at the beginning of the night, if you were a friend or a coworker that got a winning ticket, the staff member reached in fishing out the biggest box and handing it to them with a wink or a hug.

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All in all we could have done our shopping online and been better off except possibly for the alcohol and of course the luxurious tote bags. I guess it pays to have friends that work in these events.

Have you been to any seasonal events? Let us know in the comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned next week for more….

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