Sportswear and equipment has experienced strong growth as the Olympic legacy takes hold of the public’s consciousness, according to a report by John Lewis.
Running and rowing are the most popular items bought as spring/summer running-sportswear is up 30 per cent on the previous year. Rowing machines sales have also grown by 25 per cent on the previous year.
Evidence would suggest that gold medal winning Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mo Farah CBE and the Team GB coxless fours have inspired a generation of sports-goers as sales of exercise bikes have surged 27 per cent on the previous year and heart monitors are up by more than three quarters. The Nike+ sports watch, as worn by Mo Farah CBE, is amongst the best sellers.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director, John Lewis Oxford Street, said: “London 2012 gave John Lewis the opportunity to tell our unique British story for the first time to a global audience whilst being part of the greatest show on Earth. While customer interest in 2012 was about official merchandise, we’re now seeing a great uplift in sportswear sales triggered by the ‘Olympic effect’.”
John Lewis’ flagship in Oxford Street have taken further affirmative action to drive Chinese spending in-store and to streamline the visa process with China Union Pay (CUP). CUP was the most popular card holder for Chinese shoppers and was launched with terminals across the flagship including the Beauty Hall. Chinese spending is up by 51 per cent on the previous year and they are now the highest international spenders.
John Lewis retail director Andrew Murphy was recently appointed Chairman of the UK China Visa Alliance, the lobbying group representing tourism, luxury and retail businesses which aims to speed up the visa process for Chinese visitors to the UK. The department have also introduced Mandarin speaking Partners to be available to assist shoppers in store, with cultural training provided to selected Partners to increase their understanding of the cultural shopping habits of Chinese visitors.
Women in particular have embraced swimming as women’s swimwear sales are up over a third whilst swimwear in general is up by 25 per cent on the previous year. Andy Murray’s OBE recent Wimbledon success has inspired people to take up a racquet as Tennis accessories have also soared by 21 per cent on the previous year.