How lockdown changed Britain’s lifestyle – Scalextric, berets and drizzling honey
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Lockdown living has changed the nation as comfy slippers and honey drizzlers are in and killer heels and suitcases are out.
A trends report has given a fascinating glimpse into life behind front doors as Brits have adapted to the new normal, ditching alarm clocks and lunchboxes once essential for work and instead snapping up tellies and childhood toys like Scalextric.
The Shop Live Look report by John Lewis paints a picture of a lifestyle inspired by the “Netflix effect” as hit shows like The Crown have sent sales of chintzy curtains up by 20%.
Gripping drama The Queen’s Gambit starring Anya Taylor-Joy as orphan Beth Harmon who breaks through in the male dominated world of chess, sent sales of chess sets rocketing by 121% since the saga hit screens in October.
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II in season 3 of The Crown
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And demand for berets increased by 65% as viewers became captivated by Emily in Paris with Lily Collins in the title role.
According to the research, homes became cinemas as sales of tellies were up 45% since March.
As millions adapted to staying in, online shopping almost doubled from accounting for 40% of John Lewis sales at the beginning of the year to 70% with 8-10pm the most popular browsing hours.
Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit
Scaletrix is a classic toy
Kitchens became offices and as workers missed their premium on-the-go coffee, they invested in barista style machines with sales of coffee makers rising by 22% while breakfast took on a luxury feel as cereal bowls, butter dishes, toast tongs and honey drizzlers also flew off shelves.
And with no pressure to dress up for work, sales of heels tumbled by 64%, clutch bags were down by 56% and lipstick by 54% while demand for slippers leapt by 48%.
Analysis of data over the last 12 months from pre-Covid-19 Britain to now found athleisure became the new working from home uniform as sales of loungewear and leggings rocketed by 1,303% while demand for ironing boards fell by 26%.
Demand for ironing boards has gone down
Lily Collins as Emily in Emily in Paris
And as men wore more casual clothes, braces were down by 58%, city slicker armbands to keep shirt sleeves in place dipped by 60% while cummerbunds – once a posh night out staple – plunged by 83%.
But women still dressed to thrill under their joggers and hoodies as the department store said they still “treated” themselves to sexy undies and lacy all-in-one bodies.
Hardly surprising then that the report is predicting 2021 will be the year of a baby boom as searches for “new baby” gear increased by 274% year-on-year.
People are 'treating themselves' to lingerie
Honey drizzlers are in fashion
And as families gave up on booking a summer holiday this year, interest in suitcases slumped by 69%, but sales of mood enhancing SAD lamps increased by 81% as Brits used the lights to banish the blues.
Analysis of data by experts found we rediscovered the art of letter writing as sales of stationery jumped by 85%, writing sets and notecards were up by 227% and demand for calligraphy pens rose by 406% year-on-year.
Simon Coble, trading director at John Lewis said: “There’s no question 2020 will be remembered as the year that changed everything.
Toast tongs are a handy tool
We've been reaching for the comfy slippers
"The global Covid-19 pandemic has transformed every aspect of our lives – how we shop, live, socialise and work.
“It has been a year in which people’s homes truly became their castles.
"We couldn’t venture out into the world, so we brought the world into our homes.
"We’ve stayed in, hunkered down, decked out and spruced up our living spaces.
“We’ve treated ourselves to new technology, from coffee machines to TVs.
"We’ve rediscovered forgotten pleasures such as letter writing.
"And we’ve freed ourselves from the tyranny of the waistband by embracing comfortable clothing.”