A WORLD of discovery will be opened up in a major store in the centre of Oxford.

Shoppers will have the chance to pick up new talents from experts in The Discovery Room at John Lewis in the Westgate Centre.

The room, which is set to open its doors later this month, will serve as a hub for learning experiences for people across the county - whether developing new sewing techniques or freshening up beauty and make up skills.

It is described by John Lewis as an “immersive” and “intimate” experience offered only to a few members of the public at one time.

The step is just the latest in a series of trailblazing moves by the shop, which has set out to “redefine what it means to be a department store” including having drama-trained staff and areas for events like cat walk shows.

Marketing coordinator Clint White explained the store’s hopes for the discovery room.

He said: “Since opening our doors last year, we have been on a mission to redefine what it means to be a department store.

“With an emphasis on events, we are soon to launch our latest event space: The Discovery Room.”

The room, said Mr White, will boast “intimate experiences”, providing sessions to just a small number of customers at any one time.

He continued: “The Discovery Room has been designed to bring intimate experiences that customers wouldn’t normally be able to experience in a department store.

“With a host of events, classes and courses, customers will have the ability to improve their sewing technique, advance their technical knowledge or refresh their beauty and make up skills.

“Whatever people decide to book on their guaranteed an immersive experience limited to a small selection of customers in a relaxed and informal environment”.

The Discovery Room is just one of a series of innovative moves by the store which opened its doors in October last year.

One-fifth of the floor space at the branch, the centre’s flagship store, is dedicated to experiences and 21 different services

From the outset, around 20 per cent of the store’s floor space was given over to various services - more than any other John Lewis in the country.

Shoppers are 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.

Also, The store made such a success of a personal shopping scheme for men that earlier this year the service was expanded.

Before the department store opened at the Westgate Centre in October, 322 employees were all theatre-trained by the Oxford Playhouse team.

The theatre staff ran workshops for staff and focused on breathing techniques, confidence and interacting with people.

The personal shoppers for men service has proved such a success at Westgate that it has now been introduced at eight other stores.

The chain’s first men’s stylist in Oxford accounted for a third of all personal shopping appointments since the Oxford store opened.

An “experience desk” right at the centre of the three-floor, 120,000 sq ft, store is managed by John Lewis’s first brand experience manager.