John Lewis organises sleepover for snowbound customers

More than 100 customers, staff and children spent the night in a department store after they were stranded by snow, it was revealed today.

The 54 staff, about 30 adult customers and 20 children were provided with food and a bed in the bed department of John Lewis in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, after heavy snow gridlocked local roads yesterday.

Deborah Strazza, managing director of the store, said customers and staff had become stranded after heavy snow began falling in mid-afternoon.

The mother of two, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, was stranded herself, and stayed overnight in the store.

She said: "There was no way that I was going to throw customers out into that, or my own partners, and we just had to make use of what we had got.

"Basically we made up the beds and they all snuggled down in the bed department.

"It was so sweet, the kids absolutely loved it. They thought they were in Toy Story.

"The customers were really, really grateful and they could not thank us enough."