What our homes and wardrobes look like after a year in lockdown

How lockdown shaped our shopping habits: Consumers invested in TVs for nights in and coffee machines for mornings with no commute – but stopped buying alarm clocks and suitcases

  • A year on from when the UK first went into lockdown, FEMAIL looks back at our changing shopping habits 
  • John Lewis has shared consumer data on everything from TVs and garden furniture to shoes and artwork 
  • Reflects an overall trend towards investing in our homes and personal well-being, and a slower pace of life
  • Biggest shift was in loungewear and leggings, which saw a growth of more than 1,000% compared to 2019 

A year living under coronavirus restrictions has completely shaped the way we shop.  

From investing in home entertainment to forgoing high heels, our pandemic spending habits reflect a life that for many has become less sociable, more housebound and more dependent on technology than ever before.

John Lewis has collated and analysed data over the last 15 months to reveal the products that have seen the biggest increase and decrease in sales since the start of 2020.

Findings reveal an overall trend towards spending more money on our living spaces, home technology and personal well-being as we found ways to keep ourselves uplifted and entertained at home. 

Conversely sales of travel luxuries like suitcases (-69%) and cameras (-31%) have plummeted.

Home schooling and remote working have had a major impact on shopping habits. Sales of computer monitors (+154%) and laptops (+174%) have jumped, while sales of alarm clocks (-38%) have dwindled, as office workers said goodbye to the commute and embraced longer mornings at home.  

Changing habits: From investing in home entertainment to forgoing high heels, our pandemic spending reflects a life that for many has become less sociable, more housebound and more dependent on technology than ever before

These slower mornings are also thought to have driven up the popularity of breakfast accessories (+6%) like egg cups, honey drizzlers and toast tongs, as shoppers now have more time to enjoy them during the working week. 

There has been more money spent on outdoor heaters (+1,625%) and outdoor pizza ovens (+348%) to facilitate outdoor socialising, while frustrated gym-goers have invested in exercise bikes (+101%) for the home. 

Meanwhile a lack of socialising has had a significant impact on our wardrobes, with handbags (-56%) and high heels (-62%) both seeing a drop in sales, while loungewear and leggings witnessed a staggering 1,300% increase.

Commenting on the shifting priorities, John Lewis trading director Simon Coble said: ‘It has been a year in which people’s homes truly became their castles. We couldn’t venture out into the world, so we brought the world into our homes. We’ve stayed in, hunkered down, decked out and spruced up our living spaces. 

‘As well as reconfiguring our living spaces as offices, schools and gyms, we’ve treated ourselves to new technology, from coffee machines to TVs.’   

BEDROOM 

More ‘me’ time and staying in: Heels and handbags are out thanks to a lack of socialising while a drop in commuters has led to fewer alarm clocks being bought. Making the most of bedtime has fuelled an increase in the sale of silk pillowcases

NO COMMUTE MEANS NO ALARM CLOCKS (-38%) 

Working from home meant many of us said goodbye to a strict daily schedule and early morning commute.

In turn, we also stopped buying alarm clocks (-39%) and spent money on accessories that fostered a relaxing morning (see breakfast accessories below).

SILK PILLOWCASES (+533%) AND WEIGHTED BLANKETS (+250%) FOR FOSTERING SLEEP

SPECIALIST PILLOWS (+350%) FOR ACHES AND PAINS 

Long stretches at our desks and dining room tables while working from home mean many of us are suffering from niggling aches and pains. 

As such, we’ve been searching for solutions, including in the forms of specialist pillows (+350%) or mattresses. 

With reports of insomnia on the rise, sleep has become more important than ever. Shoppers invested more time and money in making their bed a space of ultimate relaxation in the hope of fostering ‘deep sleep’. 

One of the luxuries being snapped up are silk pillowcases (+533%) and weighted blankets (+250%).

‘Over the past year, sleep has become a primary wellness concern and as we are spending more time at home, customers are investing more time indulging in a bed time “deep sleep” due to experience of broken sleep patterns and the need for a greater routine,’ explained beauty buyer Amelia Kendrick.

‘Silk pillowcases are renowned for their skin and hair benefits, feeling luxurious and soothing to the touch; these have proven hugely popular with customers (+533%).

‘We have also seen sleep sprays and oils continuing to be best sellers (+140%); the sprays are carefully curated to include key ingredients to help winddown, and soothe away the tensions of your day leaving the mind and body calm and ready for sleep.’ 

SAD LAMPS (+81%) TO BOOST OUR MOOD

Taking care of ourselves has become a key priority for many this year and John Lewis has seen SAD lamp sales up 81% since January 2020. 

SAYING GOODBYE TO PARTY HANDBAGS (-56%) AND HEELS (-62%)

As staying in became the new going out, clutches and small party bags sales fell 56% in 2020 compared to 2019. 

Customers opted for comfortable footwear such as slippers and trainers during extended periods spent at home and sales of high-heeled shoes have fallen 62% since February 2020.

MEN STOPPED BUYING CUMMBERBUNDS (-83%) AND BRACES (-58%) 

Whether it was a summer without weddings or no New Year’s Eve celebrations, men had fewer reasons to don their gladrags last year – and sales of formalwear suffered as a result. 

John Lewis reported cummerbunds were down -83%, braces -58% and armbands -60%.

LIVING ROOM

Long nights on the sofa… in ultimate comfort: Unsurprisingly, there has been a 45% increase in TV and projector sales. When it comes to clothing, there has been a staggering 1,303% rise in the sale of loungewear and leggings as we prioritise comfort

TV AND PROJECTORS (+45%) FOR NIGHTS ON THE SOFA 

Staying in became the new going out and sales of TVs were up 45% since March 2020. What we watched also had a huge impact on shopping habits. 

Netflix hits The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton all sparked their own miniature trends as viewers rushed to recreate what they saw on screen. 

Emily In Paris is said to have led beret sales to soar by 65% while chess sets jumped 121% in the wake of the Queen’s Gambit being released. 

HOUSEPLANTS (+200%) TO ENHANCE THE HOME

Indoor plants have become a firm favourite with customers as sales trebled in the last year. 

FITNESS TRACKERS (+64%) AS WE TAKE EXERCISE INTO OUR OWN HANDS

Keeping fit and getting active at home saw athleisure sales and workout equipment soar and sales of fitness trackers and smart watches are up 64% compared to 2019.  

Plants have a whole host of wellbeing benefits, like being great natural air purifiers, but their presence in rooms signals care and dedication.

 Those less green-fingered can fake it with faux plants and flowers so realistic no one will know otherwise. 

STAYING COMFORTABLE AT HOME IN LEGGINGS AND LOUNGEWEAR (+1,303%)

We freed ourselves from the tyranny of the waistband and we became comfortable keeping it casual.

With many of us working from home, sales of loungewear and leggings rose by 1,303%. 

And as we eventually ventured back into the world, we brought our joggers with us as sales of loungewear this winter show no signs of slowing down.

… AND BUYING UGGs (+52%) TO KEEP OUR FEET COSY TOO 

Comfort was key when it came to our feet, too, with sales of slippers up by 40% and celebrities leading a return of the Ugg.  

‘The past 12 months have seen many of us working from home and comfort has become a key priority while we’re spending more time indoors,’ Diane Knight, Women’s Shoe Buyer said. 

‘Searches for Ugg slippers on Johnlewis.com are up 52% on the year.’

KITCHEN  

Slower mornings at home: Breakfast became one of the most important meals of 2020, as families took the time to sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day together. Coffee shops closing led to a spike in coffee machines

BREAKFAST ACCESSORIES (+6%) FOR LONGER MORNINGS

Breakfast became one of the most important meals of 2020, as families took the time to sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day together. 

Honey drizzlers and toast tongs flew off the shelves and cereal bowl sales are up 36% this year as this trend has stayed with us. 

Waitrose has reported ‘Morning Goods’ are up 6% this year compared to 2019, driven by sales of crumpets and muffins which are up 29%.

Roast and ground coffee sales are also up +7.6% and tea sales are up 7%.

DEMAND FOR COFFEE MACHINES (+22%) AS COFFEE SHOPS CLOSE

At home baristas brewed up a storm with coffee shops closed across the country. 

Sales of coffee machines were up 22% at John Lewis and Waitrose also reported sales of barista style alternative milks were up 64% from the beginning of the year to early July led by oat milk (+113%) and soya (+26%).

LUNCHBOXES (-20%) NOT NEEDED FOR SCHOOL OR OFFICE

Working from home and home schooling saw us spending more time making homemade lunches and sitting down to enjoy a meal at home. Lunchbox sales were down 20% in 2020 compared to 2019.

CASUAL CLOTHES DRIVE DOWN IRONING BOARDS (-26%) 

With the nation told to work from home, the need to look smart fell by the wayside and sales of ironing boards fell 26% in March alone.

HOME OFFICE

The new way of working: Households invested in technology and decorative touches to make Zoom backgrounds sing

WORKING REMOTELY WITH MONITORS (+154%) AND LAPTOPS (+171%)

Working from home and homeschooling saw shoppers setting up their home offices – or finding a way to continue their work at the kitchen table. 

Laptops saw the biggest increase (+171%), followed by monitors (+154%) and Wifi extenders (+40%). There was also more demand for tablets (+37%) and printers (+26%).   

‘ZOOM-SCAPING’ WITH FRAMES (+80%), ART (+113%) AND MIRRORS (+65%)

Zoom-scaping is the new art of curating your video call background to show the perfect balance of personality and professionalism – and analysts believe a desire to impress colleagues and friends has boosted sales of decorative items. Sales of frames (+80%), art (+113%), and mirrors (+65%) have all soared.

‘With meetings happening mostly on video calls our walls have become our first impression,’ explained Katherine Lemin, wall decor buyer.

‘They are the way we “dress to impress” now and what we have on them can signal who we are or our interests.’ 

SPARE ROOM 

Out with the old hobbies… and in with the new: Exercise bikes and classic games saw a boost in sales, while fewer people snapped up suitcases and cameras as travel restrictions took hold

BATHROOM 

 HAND CREAM (+17%) 

Hand sanitisers dried out the nations hands and nourishing hand cream sales were up 17% uplift since 2020. 

LIPSTICK (-54%) 

Government guidance to wear face coverings saw sales of lipstick down 54% but saw sales of mascara lift.

SKINCARE, HAIR AND BODY PRODUCTS (+234%)

Overall there was a 234% increase in skincare, hair and body products as we looked for ways to treat ourselves.

SUITCASES (-69%) STILL ON THE SHELF

Ongoing travel restrictions means far fewer people are jetting off on holidays abroad. As a result, sales of suitcases has suffered, with John Lewis revealing a 69% drop compared to 2019. 

NO SPECIAL OCCASIONS TO WARRANT A NEW CAMERA (-31%)

Fewer holidays of a lifetime means fewer travellers investing in cameras to capture the memories. 

There were also fewer weddings, birthdays and milestone birthdays, all of which might prompt a shopper to invest in a new camera. As a result sales of cameras fell by 31%.   

HOME GYMS DRIVE DEMAND FOR EQUIPMENT

With gyms and exercise classes hugely impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions, it is of little surprise fitness fans were quick to set up their own workout spaces at home. 

Sales of exercise bikes (+101%), treadmills (+103%) and yoga equipment (+176%) were all up compared to 2019. 

There was such a demand that John Lewis rolled out Peleton bikes in August 2020.  

GARDEN AND HOBBIES   

HOLIDAYING AT HOME WITH PADDLING POOLS (+156%) 

With many unable to get away for their summer break, customers brought the holiday vibes to their gardens with sales of paddling pool and inflatables (+156%), swingball sets, beach toys and garden games (+108%) and self-tanning products up by (45%).

OUTDOOR HEATERS (+1,625%) AND PIZZA OVENS (+348%)

Rules around outdoor socialising prompted shoppers to rush out and buy items that made their gardens more suitable for get-togethers.  

John Lewis saw strong sales of outdoor heaters which were up 1,625% and pizza ovens sales were +348%.

Bringing holidays home: Rules around outdoor socialising prompted shoppers to rush out and buy items that made their gardens more suitable for get-togethers. Parents also bought paddling pools in the absence of summer holidays

Source: Read Full Article