The publication of John Lewis & Partners’ annual report, which analyses Britain’s shopping habits over the past year, has revealed that the pandemic has significantly changing the way people live and work.
Driven by millions of people working from home, the home and garden became not only a place to live and work, but where people were socialising too.
“The unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 have left a permanent mark on how we shop, live and look,” states Pippa Wicks, executive director at John Lewis. “People have become clearer about what matters to them, and their work-life balance has shifted towards life.”
According to the report, with more time on their hands, people were ‘tablescaping’ – dressing their tables for dinner every day of the week for no special reason. Accessories, such as candlestick holders were up 13% and candlesticks up 34%. Sales of coloured dinnerware rose by a third over the year, overtaking a demand for white dinnerware.
Gardens meanwhile, became an entertaining space over lockdown, with people using them as extensions of kitchens and dining rooms, driving sales of garden products and garden accessories.
However, with people unable to travel, travel accessories, such as passport covers, were among the items that saw sales fall.
The lockdowns also changed the way people shopped. The johnlewis.com website now accounts for between 60% and 70% of sales, up from 40% before the pandemic, with the retailer stating that customers expect and want flexibility and convenience more than ever before.
Top: People’s homes and gardens have continued to be a major focus over the past year.