Crocs are in, thongs are out: John Lewis report reveals surge in comfortable items during lockdown

·2-min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

John Lewis has revealed its most popular items among shoppers in the last year - and they reflect some of the lifestyle changes people made during the pandemic.

In the retailer’s annual report, which identifies key trends using data gathered during the past 12 months, slippers were among the most sought-after items, with sales up by 13 per cent.

The shift towards comfortable items was also reflected in the surge of sales for Crocs, which went up by 58 per cent.

Conversely, uncomfortable items, such as thongs, were found to be wildly unpopular in the past year.

Similarly, items typically associated with the office went down given that many people were working from home, including neck ties, which went down by 75 per cent, briefcases, filing cabinets, and makeup bags.

Additionally, sales of travel accessories, such as passport covers, suitcases and adaptors, were found to have fallen.

Meanwhile, household items experienced a spike, with pizza ovens and hot tubs named as popular products.

Elsewhere, air fryer sales surged by 400 per cent, while trampolines went up by 270 per cent.

There was also a huge increase in demand for beauty products, with skincare accounting for a third of all of John Lewis’ beauty sales.

The retailer reported seeing almost half a million searches for skincare last year, with customers becoming more interested in vegan and eco-friendly lines.

As for specific items that were in demand, John Lewis noted how, in November 2020, Nicole Kidman’s statement outerwear in the hit drama series The Undoing sparked a 49 per cent rise in searches for colourful coats.

Meanwhile, in March 2021, the BBC’s popular series The Serpent, which is set in the 1970s, caused a surge in demand for clothing from the era, with searches for flared jeans and aviator sunglasses rising.

Then, in June 2021, the retailer noticed a major spike in Nineties clothing that it put down to the long-awaited Friends reunion.

As for what we can expect for 2022, John Lewis Futurologist, John Vary, has predicted a number of key trends, including “nostalgia tech”.

“It’s easy to feel snow-blinded by the mass of digital content raging around us,” he says. “What better way to counter this than by harking back to the audio and photographic technologies of old?”

Another trend Vary has predicted for the year ahead is a surge in online spaces where people can spend time with friends and family.

“Going hand-in-hand with this trend will be an increase in the popularity and purchasing of goods that exist only in the digital world,” he added.

You can view the report in full here.

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