The digital revolution finally caught up with John Lewis buyers when the department store announced it had stopped selling filing cabinets.
The bosses also revealed that the pandemic brought about a significant change in our clothing, with ties and thong sales plummeting as shoppers opted for more comfortable clothing.
The Covid-19 lockdowns caused sales of travel accessories to decline, but customers spent a lot to turn their homes into personal retreats.
Sales of tents were particularly strong, up 600%, while trampolines rose 270% and casual croc shoes rose 58%, according to John Lewis’ annual Shop, Live, Look trend report.
After the restaurants closed, home cooking experienced a boom, with hot air fryers gaining 400% and other home comforts that led to rising sales including hot tubs and patio furniture.
Outdoor heaters and fire pits sales rose 1,000% in October and November last year, although John Lewis didn’t reveal how that affected the number of items sold.
In the beauty department, makeup sales fell sharply as people stayed indoors, although sales switched to skin care products instead, the retailer said.
Overall, on closed stores, the company reported that online business has increased, accounting for between 60 and 70% of all sales, up from 40% before the pandemic.
Looking ahead, the company predicts there will be more socializing online, with purchases of goods that exist online in the digital world and a continued surge in sales of nostalgic technology.
John Lewis CEO Pippa Wicks said: “The unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 have left a lasting mark on the way we shop, live and look.
“People have become more aware of what is important to them and their work-life balance has shifted towards life.”
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