White trainers and decorative flamingos and pineapples are among the products consumers could not live without over the last year as selfie sticks, tablecloths and CD storage racks fell out of fashion, according to a report into a year in the life of the British shopper.
Statement water bottles, wireless headphones, the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and designer light bulbs sent sales soaring at John Lewis, its annual retail report reveals, and sales of white Converse trainers were higher than any other women’s shoe line.
Ornamental pineapples and flamingos found widespread popularity within British homes, with searches for the latter on johnlewis.com increasing by 200 per cent and flamingo-themed wallpaper, fairy lights, cushions and mugs all selling well.
The avocado also had its moment in the spotlight as sales of avocado storage pods increased by 61 per cent compared to the last six months, searches for avocado slicers were up 62 per cent in May and avocado beauty products increased in popularity.
Jeremy Corbyn inspired an 11 per cent increase in sales of red socks last September when he was pictured wearing them on the eve of his first party conference speech as the Labour leader, and sales of quilted navy jackets similar saw a 447 per cent lift after Prince George wore one on his first day of nursery.
Sales of gin increased by 103 per cent after the Brexit vote and in July sales of portable mobile chargers soared by more than 200 per cent as Pokemon Go players scoured the nation for the digital creatures.
Among the items to fall out of favour were tablecloths, down 10 per cent, Valentine’s Day chocolates, laptops with disc drives, CD and DVD storage and selfie sticks, which saw sales drop by 50 per cent on the year before.
Orders placed with John Lewis via smartphones increased by 60 per cent over the year.
Many customers even bought a new phone on their mobiles, and 20 per cent of all iPhone 7s were bought via an iPhone during the first three weeks of the latest device’s launch.
John Lewis’s director of shop trade, Maggie Porteous, said: “It’s clear to see the impact of what has been a disorientating year on what our customers have been buying in 2016.
“Shoppers have been increasingly drawn to bigger and bolder trends, with clashing colours and prints, copper hues and even pink flamingos proving exceptionally popular.
“2016 has also proven to be the year that customers truly mastered the art of jumping seamlessly between online channels and shops to best suit their needs and mood.”
Ed Connolly, John Lewis buying director for fashion and beauty, said: “As one of our best performing categories, we now offer more beauty and skincare brands than ever, and we’re investing £9 million across a number of our beauty halls to ensure customers have even more choice as we introduce a range of new and contemporary brands.”