John Lewis Partnership has unveiled its entry into e-commerce with the launch of an internet shopping service called John Lewis Now.
The e-commerce site is being designed and developed by web design agency JKD, which was appointed to create the online presence for Waitrose, the existing John Lewis-owned supermarket.
A small gift section of johnlewis.com will open on November 20. However, during 2001, the whole portal will be expanded to 'reflect the strengths of the John Lewis offer,' said Martin Smith, the company's e-commerce manager.
By autumn next year, more than 2500 items will be available to buy online.
More than 1000 products will be available through the site prior to Christmas, including toys, games, home accessories, kitchenware, gadgets, watches and wine. A selection of greeting cards will also be available.
Customers of Johnlewis.com can choose to have their purchases gift-wrapped or presented in gift boxes with a personal message. Delivery to any mainland UK address can be standard, express, or on a specified day. Fulfilment capability is already in place, but orders must be placed by December 16 for guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery.
The company is not planning to support the launch with above-the-line marketing activity, as it claims demand for the service would ensure it is heavily used. However, some in-store activity is planned to promote the site.