John Lewis tracks housewares trends

A new study by John Lewis offers an insight into what Britain bought and why in 2013.
John Lewis has studied the shopping habits of its customers over the past 12 months and reveals the results in its first-ever annual retail report. ‘How We Shop, Live and Look’ has mined a year’s worth of the department store group’s sales data and offers an insight into what and why customers bought, and how they bought it. It is the most comprehensive review of data that the retailer has ever undertaken and divulges the consumer tastes of a nation.

This year, John Lewis witnessed a year-on-year sales increase of 16% across the cookshop and small electricals department. heralding the birth of what it describes as the home ‘super chef’, for whom only the ‘whizziest’ kitchen

gadgets, sharpest knives and the best quality basics will do.

Proof that serious cooks invested in serious kit came as sales of sous vide equipment increased by 44% year-on-year. These ‘super-keen’ home cooks also got back into baking in a big way, with measuring cups and spoons flying up 128% this year alone, driven in part by ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Food mixers leapt 62% during series three, demand for bread-makers went up 29% and cake cooling racks flew up 70%.

In the beverage-making category, sales of bean-to-cup coffee machines shot up 40% year-on-year in February 2013, and sales of Bosch Tassimo enjoying an increase of 329% over the 12-month period. For tea connoisseurs, the Sage by Heston Blumenthal Tea Maker, which retails at £200, proved a popular choice, while sales of infusers and kettles shot up by 69% following BBC1 show ‘Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea’. Another popular gadget was the juicer, which this year evolved into a style statement in kitchens up and down the country. In July, sales of juicers were up by 2,006% compared with the same period last year.

Meanwhile, shoppers are recreating the trend for more relaxed dining experiences, John Lewis says, with sales of its Al Fresco collection up 25%, Royal Doulton’s 1815 china up 39% and the Coastal collection up 46%. Other tabletop triumphs include camembert bakers which more than doubled in sales, going up 169% year-on-year, and Just Slate cheese boards, up 17%. People also

invested in barware – a John Lewis carafe saw a 307% increase, and sales of John Lewis ice tongs rocketed 208%.

A full report on the John Lewis findings appears in Housewares Magazine’s November/December issue.

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