Leeds Business School

Students see window of opportunity with leading retailer

As a student, you might not expect to pitch your ideas to one of the UK’s leading retailers as part of your course.

Published on 19 May 2021
Glass roof of Leeds Trinity and the busy shoppers across three floors

Yet, for Danny Bhaker and Ceejay Green, working with John Lewis has become a key part of their time at Leeds Business School over the past few months.

Along with fellow students from the BA (hons) Marketing and BA (hons) Marketing and Management courses, they have been developing their own window concepts for the company’s Leeds store, as it looks to entice customers back through its doors after lockdown was lifted.

Forming their own teams, students were tasked with developing a complete marketing strategy, from research, to ideas and implementation and presented their plans to representatives from the store recently

A central part of the Visual Merchandising module, it gave them the chance to push their creative boundaries.

Each team came up with their own unique campaign theme, ranging from ‘staycation’ to ‘self-love’, and incorporated John Lewis products and the needs of their audience into their presentations.

Alongside their team, Danny and Ceejay devised the eco-friendly, Scandinavian themed ‘Get Buzzy’ campaign, which included sketches, floor elevation plans, in-depth market research and final visuals.

Get Buzzy concept

The 'Get Buzzy' concept that Danny and Ceejay developed with their team

Danny said: “Our team came up with the concept of a natural Scandinavian home office theme with hanging bio-plastic bees that appear to be working and organising the office, which applied motion, a sense of collectivism, and productivity to the concept.”

Throughout the project, the team were in constant communication with both John Lewis and Dr Esther Pugh, the module leader, who enjoyed a long career as a visual merchandiser for high street retailers. 

Ceejay added: “I really enjoyed working on a brief about a brand I was passionate to explore and had previous interest in. It made a big difference and gave me the motivation to want to create an experience with a brand I recognised and personally liked.”

After having the opportunity to pitch and receive feedback from real-world marketing experts, both Ceejay and Danny now feel that they’re more prepared for a career in the industry. 

Ceejay continued: “I was personally able to develop my skills from a design perspective the skills and utilisation of interior design, product spacing, layout, and configuration. I was also able to improve my analysis skills, in choosing materials and textures that naturally sync together and the products that would match our theme appropriately.”

“I’ve also developed my team working skills, to regularly communicate and work together on a project that encourages innovative ideas and open thoughts. I’m now more able to accurately communicate a though or idea in a way which was understandable and clear to the group.”

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image of self love mood board

A mood board created by Charlotte Pridmore, Lauren Hartley, Katherine Kavaliunas and Charlotte Ellis of Team Visual for their ‘self-love’ concept.