The John Lewis Partnership has revealed the latest insights into the consumer trends of 2018 with the release of its annual How we shop, live and look report.
The data covers the period from August 2017 to September 2018 and found several intriguing changes in shopping habits, particularly within fashion, which were punctuated by events such as the royal wedding.
Bold colours have been the standout feature of 2018, John Lewis said.
Sales of yellow dresses soared by 401% year on year. Notable appearances included Amal Clooney’s outfit for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The department store chain said that “rather than carefully matching colours, women are increasingly playing with them – blending some and contrasting others. Men are also embracing crayon-box colours as never before, specifically in their underwear and swimwear choices.”
In menswear, yellow dominated, and recorded a 92% rise in purchases. This was followed by khaki green at 45%, pink at 29% and orange at 13%.
For women, sales of gold-coloured clothing recorded a 124% rise, followed by a 68% increase in orange, 34% in yellow and 26% in pink.
Jumping for joy
Jumpsuits soared in popularity, as women looked for more versatility from their clothing. Sales grew by 61% year on year, and “jumpsuit” overtook “dress” as an online search term. Athleisure also got smarter – or workwear got more casual – as female shoppers grew more likely to pair trainers with business dress.
Love is on the air
The latest season of Love Island led to an upturn in certain underwear styles. Sales of the department store’s Bluebella range rose by 250%, suspenders rose by 132%, and colourful men’s boxer shorts rose by 10%. For women, sales of thongs grew by 72%, marking the sharp reverse of a steady decline that had taken place up to 2017/18.
Shopping on the move
The report shows that 2018 was the year that mobile shopping really took off for John Lewis. More shoppers browsed and purchased using mobile devices than desktop PCs. John Lewis said that “customers also became more savvy about refining their searches and using filters effectively to narrow down options so they could find the perfect product. ”.
Football and freaky weather
Two major influences affected fashion sales over the year. The extremes of weather led sales of boots to rise by almost two-thirds, up 63% in February and March, while the waistcoat made a brief comeback as Gareth Southgate sported the item to lead England to their first World Cup semi final since 1990.
The biggest fashion event of the year, however, was the royal wedding, which secured Meghan Markle’s place as a style icon. Sales of the Mulberry Darley bag shot up 327% after she was spotted carrying it. In the week she wore a bright yellow dress, yellow was John Lewis’s most-searched colour and yellow dress sales quadrupled.
Lastly, it seems that along with standalone DVD players, the end may be in sight for the trouser press. Sales in John Lewis were down 36% year on year.