Friday 24 February 2017

Everything flamingo pushes selfie sticks out of fashion

An inflatable flamingo drinks holder (John Lewis/PA)
An inflatable flamingo drinks holder (John Lewis/PA)

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% 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% compared to the last six months, searches for avocado slicers were up 62% in May and avocado beauty products increased in popularity.

Jeremy Corbyn inspired an 11% increase in sales of red socks last September when he was pictured wearing them on the eve of his first party conference speech as Labour leader, and sales of quilted navy jackets similar saw a 447% lift after Prince George wore won on his first day of nursery.

Sales of gin increased by 103% after the Brexit vote and in July sales of portable mobile chargers soared by more than 200% as Pokemon Go players scoured the nation for the digital creatures.

Among the items to fall out of favour were tablecloths, down 10%, Valentine's Day chocolates, laptops with disc drives, CD and DVD storage and selfie sticks, which saw sales drop by 50% on the year before.

Orders placed with John Lewis via smartphones increased by 60% over the year.

Many customers even bought a new phone on their mobiles, and 20% of all iPhone 7's were bought via an iPhone during the first three weeks of the latest device's launch.

John Lewis 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."

Press Association

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