jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 24th October 2018

DVDs have had their day as shoppers go skimpy and sustainable

Some 20 years after the first DVD players went on sale, they’re history. John Lewis won’t be restocking when the current players have sold out, the retailer said, after a 40% dive in sales this year.

The DVD player’s demise is revealed in the annual snapshot of buying trends compiled by the department store group. A number of other devices and electricals are also in steep decline: sales of alarm clocks are down 16%, prompting the retailer to reduce its range by nearly a third, while desktop computers are down 15%. Sales of trouser presses and desktop computers are down by 36% and 15% respectively.

The department store is also knocking out fewer door knockers – sales are down 9% this year – and its seems shoppers are no longer prepared to pay for sharp creases, because trouser press sales collapsed by 36% last year.

Chart: With the rise in popularity of streaming services, the DVD player has become old technology

Only 56% of UK households now own a DVD player according to market research firm GfK, down from 83% in 2012. About a quarter of us still own a Blu-ray player, which John Lewis will keep selling.

Matt King, category director for technology and media research at GfK, said streaming had killed the DVD: “Rising subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services mean that people have instant access to a huge range of content without worrying about delivery times for DVDs or storage space.

“There is still demand for physical media and there will be for some time, but it will focus on the Blu-ray market, as DVDs are widely seen as outdated.”

Related: Birthday tech: The gadgets everyone wanted the year you were born (Pocketlint)

Huge televisions, retro trainers, thongs and fashion items modelled by Meghan Markle are on the up, said the department store chain.

The World Cup helped drive the trend for large televisions: sales of TVs with at least 70-inch screens almost doubled in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2017, while there was a 34% decline in sales of sets with under 31-inch screens.

John Lewis put the return of thongs – after years of falling sales – down to the popularity of reality TV show Love Island, participants in which favoured micro swimwear, as well as figure-hugging retro trends such as cycling shorts and the sort of slip dresses sported by the Kardashian clan.

Sales of thongs were up 72% in the past year, according to the report, but Charlie Teather, fashion editor of Glamour magazine, said the barely there lingerie was unlikely to go mainstream even though they are a lot more comfy than they used to be.

For fashion-conscious men, it’s all about the retro white trainer – with sales up 53% this year.

The Duchess of Sussex has quickly become a major influence on shopping patterns. Meghan Markle boosted sales of Mulberry’s £550 Darley bag more than four-fold (327%) after she stepped out with one on her shoulder on Commonwealth Day. Similarly, sales of yellow dresses soared 400% after she wore a bright-yellow shift dress at a reception.

But it was not just women wearing yellow. It was the colour of the summer for men, too, with sales of menswear featuring the colour up 92%, beating khaki green, which was up 45%, and pink, up 29%.

The nation was also going green, as BBC series Blue Planet II took sustainability mainstream. Sales of reusable cups rose 71% in the four months following the series as shoppers tried to cut down on single-use plastic. Vegan beauty products were up 12% and sales of reusable water bottles climbed 37%. John Lewis said sustainable alternatives to tin foil and cling film from brands like Stasher and Bees Wrap have also been selling well.

But the most influential device of the year was the mobile phone, which is now used for 42% of visits to the John Lewis website, up from 17% a year ago. It is now the most popular way of browsing – but shoppers move to something a little larger when they actually make a purchase. Just over half of online sales are still made using a desktop, while 22% come through tablets.

“Shoppers still like to make bigger, more considered purchases via desktop but it is clear that mobile is catching up,” John Lewis says in its How we Shop Look and Live report, which was published on Tuesday.

The rise of the mobile and online shopping is hammering traditional retailers, which are having to race to adapt to home deliveries while sales sink at high street stores.

The department store chain slumped to a £19.3m first-half loss this year, compared with a £54.4m profit in 2017, as it invested in IT systems and put services ranging from manicures to personal shopping into more stores to help attract customers. It was also forced to cut prices to match heavy discounts at struggling rivals House of Fraser and Debenhams.

So what do I do with all these, exactly?


Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. – Dali Lama


Happiness is…watching Grandson Rory build his complicated  LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Whomping Willow Toy, Wizarding World Fan Gift


My friend told me he was going to a fancy dress party as an island. I said don’t be Scilly


Love is…what makes an average day special


You Were On My Mind – Crispian St. Peters

Highest Chart Position: No.2 10th February 1966


24th October 2018

World Tripe Day

Bologna Day

United Nations Day


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