Leading South African retailer Woolworths has opened its 2nd flagship home & food store in Johannesburg offering not only just about everything South Africans need in terms of home décor and food under one roof, but also an exciting, innovative shopping experience. “Over the last decade there has been a global trend towards 'cocooning,'” says Woolworths Head of Home Julia Shingler. “Our homes are no longer merely a place to hang our hat and rest our head. They're not only our sanctuary and our refuge from the hectic world; they are, increasingly, also our office, our playground, our theatre, and our restaurant. At the same time, most urban South Africans find themselves in a situation where time has become a major stress factor. The challenge to us as an innovative retailer was to develop a new concept that would bring together solutions to all these needs in one convenient location.” The result is Woolworths home & food. Far more than just a homeware store or food market, the new Woolworths stores – one in Johannesburg's new Design Quarter in Fourways and the other in the recently opened Willowbridge Centre in Tygervalley, Cape Town – are destinations offering shoppers all the top quality homeware and food that Woolworths is famous for, as well as an entertainment and relaxation experience for them to enjoy. Woolworths has selected the very best in every product category, and will also be unveiling exciting new additions both in terms of products and services. These include food.bar, a restaurant serving both full meals as well as snacks and coffee, and a face & body zone offering convenient, walk-in 15-minute massage treatments for head, neck, back, face, hands and feet – as well as therapeutic hand and foot treatments – to literally take the stress out of shopping. The face & body zone will be run by one of the leading names in South African spas, the Sanctuary Health Spa, who are also supplying Woolworths with their innovative Moya range of fynbos-based skin and health treatment products. food.bar, which has been designed and developed in conjunction with top international restaurateur Liam Tomlin, will offer customers the opportunity to enjoy simple yet delicious freshly prepared food from morning till night – even after the store itself has closed for trading. The new stores also feature a much wider range of home décor services and products including made-to-measure curtains, exclusive paints and furniture. Woolworths is very excited about the new partners it has brought on board in order to offer customers the very best in these areas, including top names such as Earthcote for paint, ID Solutions for furniture, and Apple, which is supplying Woolworths with virtually its entire range of iPod personal entertainment systems and accessories as well as notebooks and PCs. For the first time, Woolworths will be introducing a made to measure curtaining service, offering customers the opportunity to have curtains made to their exact requirements and measurements in a range of fabrics sourced from South Africa's top décor fabric houses. The new furniture range features lounge and dining room pieces in a choice of classic and contemporary styles, as well as outdoor furniture. Most of the larger furniture, such as sofas and dining tables, will be made to order, with smaller items available in store on a 'pick up and go' basis. As you might expect, all fabrics and components have been selected and tested to ensure they meet Woolworths' exceptionally high standards. Product ranges have been substantially increased across the board in order to create what is virtually a 'one stop' décor destination. In addition to wider selections for bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, Woolworths home & food will also offer a selection of kitchen appliances made by KitchenAid and Kenwood, lighting from top designer Heath Nash, and an exciting range of locally designed and produced items that are both decorative and useful. Woolworths has also extended its top-of-the-range 'w collection' – previously only available in womenswear and menswear – into the homeware arena. Renowned for the exceptional quality of its fabrics and its fashionable yet timeless styling, the 'w collection home' range will include items such as luxurious pure linen and cotton/silk blend bedding as well as exquisite bone china dinner and tea services and unique décor pieces. Woolworths home & food will take service to a new level. Staff have been specially recruited and are undergoing extensive training to enable them to provide expert advice in every area throughout the store. A full-time Woolworths chef will be on hand with cooking demonstrations, and customers can also look forward to a full programme of demonstrations and workshops covering a wide range of home decorating topics. There will also be an area in the stores reserved for special events and for showcasing selected product ranges. Woolworths is also 'relaunching' its Gift Registry service at the new stores. The new service will accommodate a wide range of gifting occasions, from weddings to birthdays. In addition, customers will be able to take advantage of a separate gift wrapping service should they wish to have purchases beautifully wrapped to take with them. The food market, too, has a brand-new look, and while customers will of course be able to find their favourite groceries, the accent at Woolworths home & food will be on fresh food and innovative ideas to make home entertaining a pleasure. Woolworths home & food at the new Design Quarter in Fourways, opens today, 30 November, following 'hot on the heels' of the opening of the Cape Town home & food store in Williowbridge Centre, Tygervalley last month.