OXFORD’S new John Lewis store is ready to welcome shoppers - with yoga and smoothie-making classes following shortly.

Last night around 2,000 of John Lewis’ most loyal customers roamed the store as it opened its doors to the public for the first time.

Around 20 per cent of the store’s floor space has been given over to various services; more than any other John Lewis in the country.

Shoppers will be able to go to the opticians, book a holiday, exchange currency and even take lessons in using new technology, with a 'sleep room' where people can try out a new bed before purchasing it.

A new event will be held every day, with yoga and smoothie-making classes expected in the new year.

Managing director Paula Nickolds said Oxford was the ‘most wonderful’ John Lewis so far.

She said: “It’s our most experience-led and service-led shop to date. It’s often said shops are dead but they are the physical manifestation of our brand.

“Shops are moving from a place where you can get everything under one roof to a place you can do everything under one roof.”

The 322 employees set to greet and help shoppers on Tuesday have all been theatre-trained by the Oxford Playhouse team.

Participation director, Mezze Eade, said: “It’s been great working with the new John Lewis partners - we gave them the same training we give our actors.

“We've been running workshops and focussing on breathing techniques, confidence and interacting with people.”

Aside from acting training, staff have also been given ‘wrapping training’ ahead of the Christmas peak. Branch manager Julie Blake said the store was ready to go.

She said: “We are ready and its certainly very exciting.

“It’s going to be all about the experience and there’s going to be something different going on every day.

“We are testing and trying a whole host of new services for the first time, which is fantastic.”

She said limited parking spaces for staff made hiring more difficult.

“We knew recruitment was going to be a little bit more difficult for the Oxford store. But our partners have joined us because it’s a fantastic place to work.

The management team has also committed to running a different event every day in its ‘dwell space', which can be seen from the street.

It will begin with a personal stylist’s workshop but gifting will take the focus as Christmas approaches.

Health sessions could be held in the new year.