Saturday 18 November 2017

'Warts-and-all' study gives insight into shopping habits

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

THREE-piece suites and table linens have all fallen victim to the changing times, according to one of the most detailed insights into consumer behaviour ever produced.

The research, from British retailer John Lewis, showed a "warts-and-all view" of consumer behaviour, according to managing director Andy Street, and sheds light on just how much popular culture influences our shopping habits.

The study found consumers no longer dress for their age, as style and attitude outpace age-appropriate apparel. Younger women are adopting a look traditionally associated with their mothers and grandmothers, with the rise of the "Young Old-fashioneds" and soaring sales of patterned silk scarves.

"The news agenda, the royal family, celebrities, TV shows and major film premieres all have a big impact" on what we buy, according to the the company, which sells to Ireland via its website.

This year, it says, online searches for trainers spiked during Andy Murray's triumphant run at Wimbledon, while the premiere of 'The Great Gatsby' saw a surge in flapper-style clothes. The next predicted trend is '60s' glamour, with the release of 'Grace of Monaco', starring Nicole Kidman.

Interesting patterns in online behaviour were also revealed. Consumers are shopping via smartphone in the morning after picking it up when their alarm goes off, while sales from tablets peak at 9pm as families browse the internet while watching television.

But even though shoppers are using modern technology to buy night and day, they still crave nostalgia – sales of products such as board games were robust.

Furniture is also getting smaller as consumers maximise their shrinking living spaces, although TV screens continue to increase in size.

Irish Independent

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