Retail chain John Lewis’s first report on its customers’ shopping habits, published on 31 October 2013, reveals that Britons have become both more tradition-minded and more individualistic under pressure of recession and a halting recovery. Disposable “fast fashion” is falling out of favour; things that last and have a pedigree are coming in.
There seems to be a national yearning for cosiness. Sales of board games like Bananagrams (a Scrabble-like game) are up 17% on last year. Baking is in: John Lewis sold 29% more bread makers and 70% more cooling racks in the past year. Despite the ubiquity of smartphone cameras, photo frames and expensive cameras are in demand.
Britons mostly shop as one country, but there are some regional variation, most notably in women’s underwear buying habits. Welsh women are especially partial to red lingerie while north-westerners go in for thongs and G-strings. Knickers aside, united by appalling and unpredictable weather, for 80% of items, there is little regional variation in what Britons buy.
Get the full story: How Britain shops – Looking backward, The Economist