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Supporters changing lives

“I’ve seen the motivation it gives someone to take part in Store Wars”

Amanda Timothy, Community Liaison Coordinator at John Lewis Brent Cross, has organised two Store Wars competitions. She shares her experience of the event where colleagues take over a Barnardo’s store for a day and work together to raise as much money as possible.

Store Wars

“I’d love for us to be able to do that.”

That’s what I said when I heard head office staff had competed against each other in a Store Wars event. They’d taken over five Barnardo’s shops on the same day and I visited four of them to see what resources I’d need to organise an event for partners at our Brent Cross store.

I chose a team of eight expert sellers.

I wanted to put them together to demonstrate how good their selling was. The John Lewis Partnership is renowned for its service and we wanted to share best practice with Barnardo’s to raise more money for their crucial work.

Everyone found their feet quickly.

We had someone from our visual merchandising team who redid the window display in the Golders Green shop we took over for the day in September 2014. Some of the team were on the shop floor selling to customers, others stocked the shelves and I sorted through stock.

We created a stir on the high street.

One female member of our team found a wedding dress that had been donated and wore it, and a male colleague dressed up in donated stock too. People stopped and asked what we were doing.

Customers were interested to hear about how John Lewis had been supporting Barnardo’s and particularly the Store Wars event.

It was a great opportunity for us to talk to customers directly about the volunteering work that we do.

B's SW

It was a fantastic team building day.

We had people from our lighting, audio, and accessories departments – a real cross section of partners (staff). They observed different sales techniques, got to know each other and had fun, whilst giving something back to their local community.

We went in blind.

So we didn’t keep in touch with the other John Lewis store we were competing against on the day, which was our Peter Jones shop in Sloane Square. They beat us by 9% - but it was very close. We increased average sales at the shop by 101%, raising £726.

It felt amazing to know we’d made a difference.

Some of the Barnardo’s shop staff were there on the day and they were delighted. Our partners donated stock and we left some John Lewis items with them, like jewellery and a table for the store display.

When another partner recently told me she wanted to do a team building day, I suggested Store Wars after the first event was so successful.

B's Store Wars

It was a good fit and relatively easy to repeat in April 2015. I helped them prepare and took photos on the day for our in-store magazine.

I’ve seen the motivation it gives someone to go out and do a day like Store Wars. From an employee perspective, it helps staff feel proud of their company.

I’m one of a few partners who have visited Barnardo’s projects. It helps the reality of their work hit home and knowing we have raised funds to support what they do is very fulfilling.

Find out more about how Store Wars  works and email us  to discuss how you can get involved.

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