In part one of our feature on the John Lewis 2016 retail report we saw that gin sales spiked around the time of the EU referendum, but tipple aside, “the nation did not falter in its ongoing quest to live and eat well” says the bellwether supermarket retailer.
“2016 was the year of the avocado, with searches for avocado-related products 85% higher than last year. The nation was also inspired to live well by Olympians and Fitbits saw a 131% spike in popularity following Rio 2016.
For all the economic and political uncertainty, consumers took full control of their own homes as technology became ever-more accessible and enticing. 2016 saw an 81% increase in sales of smart home products, ranging from lighting that changes colour to suit your music to a thermostat that learns your room temperature preferences.
Some of the defining products of the year included wireless headphones, avocado as a super ingredient, white trainers, statement water bottles (Bobble), supersonic hairdryers, pink flamingos and designer light bulbs for industrial chic.
Waning in popularity were alarm clocks, big hats, laptops with disk drives and tablecloths, as customers seek different ways to dress their tables. This last was accompanied by a rise in sales of trays. Healthy living meant chocolate was less of a treat on Valentine’s Day, with lingerie taking over as the gift of choice. Selfie sticks have had their day and CD storage units are now passe as music moves onto laptops and mobile devices.
Taking even greater steps into the robotic world of technology, as the Instagram age evolves and we are prepared by governments and industry for the epoch of artificial intelligence, the gadget of choice for the coming seasons will be a virtual reality headset.
When it came to occasions, customers increasingly invested in family celebrations and have been spending more on family celebrations such as Father’s Day, Easter, Halloween and even the Queen’s 90th birthday, helping turn them into even more special and memorable occasions. Easter celebrations, in particular, are growing, with Easter-related product sales rising 99% in the last five years.
Read Part one of our John Lewis Retail Report feature here and look out for part 3