John Lewis reports on 2018 shopping trends

John Lewis & Partners has released its annual retail report that takes a look at how we ‘shop, live and look’ in 2018.

The findings are based on the department store group’s shopping data from August 2017 to September 2018.

Trading director Simon Coble said: “It’s fascinating to see what trends our customers have fallen in and out of love with this year and how big events like the World Cup and the royal wedding had such a significant impact on what we buy.

“How we shop is changing at incredible speed and shops need to combine the very best in service and experiences with unique and fantastic products. And the mobile phone is vital, both as a means to browse and research and also a place to buy.

“Identity was a major theme across all shopping trends this year and it’s no coincidence that the idea of identity is central to John Lewis’ long term plans. Our strategy is firmly about dialling up what makes us different so that we remain relevant. It’s our job to not only celebrate what makes us stand out as a business but also to help our customers celebrate everything that makes them unique too.”

According to the report, this was the year that ‘we took sustainability more seriously, with shoppers taking more responsibility to protect the planet. In the home, we saw the rise of quirky, eye-catching pieces as customers put their own stamp on interiors. In fashion, a more confident approach to style meant shoppers opted for bold and bright colours. And beauty went bespoke, with a focus on products tailored to individuals.’

Products which fell out of favour in 2018 include:

The alarm clock: John Lewis & Partners said: ‘As people opt to use their smartphones, sales of alarm clocks were down 16%. This year we have reduced our range by 30%.’

The small TV: ‘It was all about the big screen this year as TVs and phone screens were supersized. In fact, screens have nearly doubled in size, from 36in in 2010 to the most popular +70in screen today.’

The DVD player: ‘With the rise in popularity of streaming services, the DVD player has become old technology, down 40%.’

The trouser press: ‘They may have once been cutting edge but trouser press sales are down 36%.’

The cold shoulder dress: ‘A big trend last year, this style has literally been given the cold shoulder as customers opted for shirt dresses instead, down 15%.’

The door knocker: ’Traditional door knockers are down 9% as people invest in tech-advanced smart doorbells, up 367% since we started selling them in July 2017.’

In contrast, trends that soared included:

World Cup: ‘Sales of 60in TVs were up 249%, corner sofas were up 87% and barbecue sales rose 40% [during the football tournament].’

Sustainability: ‘TV series ‘Blue Planet II’ finished with a rallying cry to encourage people everywhere to take more responsibility for the world we live in. This was a defining year for sustainability, with shoppers becoming more mindful about what they buy and what impact a purchase has on the planet. In the four months after the final episode of ‘Blue Planet II’, sales of reusable coffee cups, travel cups and flasks were up 71% on last year.’ Water bottles overall were up 37% and the number of brands we stock are up 85%.’

The ‘Love Island’ effect:The latest season of TV series ‘Love Island’ was more popular than ever and once again the show spurred a rush in sales of inflatables and water bottles, like the ones featured in the programme.’

The robotic lawn mower: ‘Our gardens got the tech treatment with robotic lawn mowers proving popular, up 75%.’

 Colour of the Year: ‘Generation Z Yellow lifted our spirits and was seen everywhere, from Amal Clooney at the royal wedding to the Duchess of Cambridge at Wimbledon. Sales of yellow dresses were up 401%.’

Emblem of the Year: ‘Whether it was celebrating diversity or making a fashion statement, the rainbow was a popular trend this year and an instant mood booster. The Rachel Ellen rainbow range of greetings card and stationery designs was up 38%.’


Download a copy of the John Lewis & Partners Retail Report 2018

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