has literally been given the cold shoulder with sales down 15%, as customers opt for shirt dresses instead.’

Sustainability goes mainstream John Lewis noted that in 2018, shoppers became more conscious about what they bought and where those products came from, taking responsibility upon themselves to protect the planet. Driven in part by the issues raised in the BBC’s

‘Blue Planet II’ TV series, the sustainability element of what consumers choose to buy, and how they decide to live, became more important than ever. The retailer pointed out that in the four months

Colour of the year: Generation Z Yellow

door knockers are down 9% as people invest in tech-advanced smart doorbells, up 367% since we started selling them in July 2017.’ • Trouser press: ‘They may have been cutting edge in the sixties but trouser presses are no longer the must-have item they once were, with sales down 36%.’ • Cold shoulder dress: ‘A big trend last year, this style

after the final episode of ‘Blue Planet II’ aired, sales of reusable coffee cups, travel cups and flasks were up 71% on last year. It has also seen strong sales in sustainable alternatives to tinfoil and clingfilm with brands such as Stasher and Bees Wrap driving the overall food storage category up 15%. ‘This was the year we took it upon ourselves to build a more sustainable future rather than leaving it to others.’ John Lewis said. ‘We know that 73% of millennials will spend more with companies who create positive change. And our research tells us that customers want more detail about where the products they buy come from. ‘Add to this change a desire for a less materialistic

lifestyle, and shoppers have become more careful and mindful when they buy, thinking about what impact a purchase has on the planet and what it says about them as individuals. We’ve seen that

Timeline of the year

OCTOBER 2017 ‘Blue Planet II’ airs on BBC1 and becomes the most watched TV show of 2017. The final episode's call to action on reducing plastic waste inspires people around the country to act more sustainably. In the week that the last episode aired, John Lewis saw an increase of 1,700% in searches for sustainable coffee cups.


Apple launches its most expensive smartphone to date: iPhone X. The £999 phone sells out on John Lewis’ website in just 40 minutes.

DECEMBER 2017 Tinsel is the year’s hottest Christmas trend, with sales up 90%. It proved so popular that John Lewis introduced tinsel tutorials to teach shoppers how best to style it.

JANUARY 2018 Veganism becomes such a big trend that January is renamed Veganuary.

FEBRUARY 2018 Valentine’s Day proves more popular than ever, with card sales up 148% year-on-year.

MARCH 2018 The extreme cold weather, dubbed the ‘Beast from

October/November 2018

MAY 2018 Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle at Windsor Cas- tle, watched by 18 million Brits. Sales of John Lewis’ ‘Party Like Royalty’ partyware range rose 114% in the week of the big event.

JUNE 2018 The new season of ‘Love Island’ kicks off on ITV and the nation is hooked. The show spurs a rush in sales of inflatables and water bottles, like the ones fea- tured in the programme.

JULY 2018 The England football team makes it to the semi-final of the World Cup. After England win against Colom- bia, TV sales rise 49%.Meanwhile, Tour De Force fans watch Geraint Thomas become the first ever Welsh rider to take the title, and sales of the Pro 5.0 Indoor Studio Bike shoot up 79%.

the East’, continues until the middle of March affect- ing footfall and sales on the high street. But cold- weather products got a boost with boots up 63% and hats and scarves up 20%.

APRIL 2018 The snow thaws, spring arrives and sunny Generation Z Yellow becomes the new Millennial Pink.

AUGUST 2018 Britain is hit by a tropical heatwave and sales of John Lewis fans and air conditioners rise by 120% before selling out, while paddling pools and inflatables go up 77%.

talking shop

people are keen to buy better, investing in a piece because of its quality and longevity.’

Eye-catching interiors The report claims that the desire to be different and to create homes which say something about who we are, means customers moved away from the more pared back look and instead chose pieces that were unusual and eye-catching. John Lewis said: ‘Customers are now considering

the Instagram potential of their homes and are looking to curate their own collections, putting an individual stamp on interiors by buying stand-out pieces that catch the eye. ‘Dark, moody hues in everything from wood to

fabrics are juxtaposed with bright, vibrant colours as shoppers become more daring with their interior design. ‘Continuing the quirky, cluttered look, animal

prints such as toucans, monkeys and cheetahs have been a big design motif with customers looking for objet d’art that make a bold statement.’

The John Lewis & Partners Retail Report 2018: How We Shop Live And Look | 37

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