John Lewis bets on the future of the ‘economy of moments’ as shopping habits change | john lewis


For nearly a century John Lewis has ‘never been knowingly undersold’, but the retailer is now positioning itself to be there ‘for all of life’s moments’ as it adapts to profound change consumer habits driven by Covid-19 and the increase in fresh living.

The pledge is designed to take advantage of what the department store chain is promoting as the “moment economy” as Britons spend smaller sums to enjoy everyday life – from hosting a dinner party to celebrating a dog’s birthday – rather than splurging on milestone events such as a holiday abroad.

Retailer How We Buy, Live and Look’s annual report, released on Monday, reveals Britons have largely put their lockdown lifestyle behind them over the past 12 months as work and social life has gradually returned to the normal.

Women have ditched the comfort of velor tracksuits and sports bras, with sales of underwired bras and shapewear surging, and demand for blazers up 75%.

Sales of ironing boards increased by almost a fifth and “wave-styler” hair appliances increased by 28%. Sales of smart menswear also increased by 60%.

The return of commuting also featured prominently, pushing demand for laptop bags and travel mugs up by a fifth and 65% respectively.

The retailer also stopped selling wall-mounted desks, while having less time for lockdown hobbies, bread bin sales fell 42% as the sourdough love affair faded.

With the return of weddings, festivals and family reunions, sales of second-hand hats soared 168%, while demand for champagne flutes and wine glasses jumped 88%. Puzzles also suffered from the return to business as usual, with sales plummeting nearly 70%.

Among the top fashion trends is the rise of looser boyfriend jeans, up 85%, signaling a move away from skinny jeans after two years of casual wear.

But Britain’s new love of outdoor swimming has turned high-end changing dresses into a high street trend, with sales of dresses, made by brands such as Dryrobe, doubling.

The research also highlights the rise of Netflix nightlife, with a quarter of Britons inviting friends and family over to watch something in the past year. And the Lionesses’ victory at the European Championship in July sent searches for football boots and sports bras on the John Lewis website skyrocketing.

Bridgerton’s second series saw corset sales rise by a fifth, while the new Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie, inspired a “Barbiecore” trend. Sales of pink lipstick and apparel rose 83% and 22%, respectively, leaving “no doubt about the color of 2022,” the retailer said.

Last month, John Lewis withdrew the 97-year-old’s ‘never knowingly undersold’ price pledge, which had become a stumbling block in an online world, and said he would instead focus on ‘quality and everyday value.

The move is part of a “journey to reinvent our business”, according to Pippa Wicks, executive director of John Lewis, and part of a shake-up that will involve new businesses such as apartment rentals.

The “experience economy”, in which people invest their money to create memories, go on vacations or throw birthday parties, has fueled consumer spending over the past two decades.

But research into the shopping habits and social media feeds of millions of consumers made it clear to the retailer that “something has started to change,” Wicks said.

She said: “We are already synonymous with big occasions, from Christmas to planning a nativity scene. We will become the place where people know they can come and bring a little joy to all of life’s moments.

As the cost of living continues to rise, two-thirds of the 5,000 people surveyed over the summer told the retailer they still want to celebrate modestly with friends and family, even if their finances are under pressure. pressure. More than half of respondents said they would rather spend money on things that make them happy every day.

John Lewis plans to revamp its stores over the next few months, so customers can browse by “moments” rather than traditional departments such as clothing and homewares.

Michelle Ogundehin, TV presenter and trend expert, said: “People don’t do dinner parties to show off their house anymore. They will buy table decorations and flowers to enjoy the moment more. We appreciate more and more the fact that we can burn a nice candle and sit outside with friends, without having to be on a beach in Marbella.

To go up

Ceremonial hats +168%

Change dress +100%

Pet accessories +100%

Champagne flutes and wine glasses +88%

Boyfriend jeans +85%

Women’s jackets +75%

Chic men’s fashion +60%

Underwire bras +45%

Computer bags +20%

Ironing boards +19%


Jigsaws – 68%

Velor Tracksuits – 50%

Bread boxes – 42%

Non-wired bras – 33%

Microwave – 13%

Soup machines – 12%

Wall desks – written off


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