Britain has a £6bn a week shopping habit. With insight from eBay, which has acted as a barometer of British shopping trends in 2015, and Mary Portas, who presented ‘What Britain Bought in 2015’ on Channel 4 last night, here’s a look at what Brits are doing with all that money.
•After it was proven earlier this year that colouring in can help consumers unwind and alleviate stress, sales of adult colouring books soared. In February, Waterstones cited a 300% rise in sales year-on-year between Christmas 2013 and 2014, while Foyles drastically increased its shelf space for adult colouring-in books after moving to new premises last year. Portas associated the trend with Britain’s needs for “me time”.
•Following the release of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, the sex accessories industry boomed. In fact the market was in demand so much so that e-tailer LoveHoney, which designed the official range of Fifty Shades of Grey products, saw sales hit £43m in the year to March 31 2015, a rise of 53.4% compared to the same time last year. During that financial year, the retailer launched new websites in France, Germany and Australia and overseas sales almost trebled: growing from £4.5m to £12m.
•As consumers rode the ‘clean living’ wave, spiralizers and NutriBullet blenders helped ring up healthy sales across the country. In October, the third annual report from John Lewis revealed that one NutriBullet was sold every four minutes at the department store retailer. Although exact figures weren’t detailed, thousands of spiralizers were sold every week. It’s understood that the popularity of these items were inspired by Ella Woodward, the author behind the ‘Deliciously Ella’ cookbook which features a vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free diet.
•Kate Fever and the Duchess of Cambridge’s quintessentially British style drove sales of yellow dresses up by 58% on eBay after the Duchess was spotted wearing one in May. Sales of nude heels increased by 94%.
•London’s Chelsea Flower Show featured a shed on a revolving platform this year, seemingly a hit with green-thumbed Brits as sales of sheds skyrocketed on eBay. More than 1600 sheds were sold each day, with the most expensive sheds selling for almost £5,000 and the number of ‘shed’ listings on the site reaching over 100,000.
•While the nation may have bought more and more into healthy living, Britain also drank 25m extra pints of beer in line with the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In addition, the country consumes around 20% of the world’s supply of Prosecco.
Portas’s shopping experts predict that 2016’s trends will include an increasing demand for sugar-free products, outerwear and natural-looking fake tans.