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Consumer comfort with m-retail at an all time high, finds John Lewis report

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Never before have shoppers been so comfortable with browsing and buying on their tablets and smartphones, with on average more 50% of web traffic to now coming from mobile devices.

And mobile is changing shopping habits quite dramatically, finds the second annual John Lewis Retail Report. It shows that the rise of mobile shopping has seen more people making purchases in the early hours, with online sales between the hours of midnight and 6.00am up 31% over the past year.

What people buy at night makes for fascinating reading. At 2.00am, men log on to buy formalwear, perhaps indulging in post-party purchasing. Around 4.00am, the nation’s parents seek some respite from their early awakenings to shop for nursery items for their little angels, while between 5.00 and 7.00am women’s shoes and handbags see a boost as Britain’s females dream of new additions to their wardrobe.

While mobile has become increasingly important, the ability to mix and match purchase channels and delivery options is now the norm. Saying this, around 70 per cent of all sales still take place in shops.

As well as exploring the nation’s shopping habits, the John Lewis Retail Report provides rich data on the nation’s zeitgeist. For instance, this was the year that customers invested in their sleep. Duvets and pillows increased 20 per cent and 18 per cent respectively and even traditional alarm clocks were up 17 per cent against the same period last year.

In 2014 we weren’t just pre-occupied with sleep, our obsession with culinary achievement also continued. Inspired by the likes of Masterchef , Britain’s aspiring chefs took on the challenges of making pasta and filleting fish. Sales of ravioli kits, Pasta Night In, shot up by 315 per cent, fishbone tweezers by 37 per cent and fish filleting knives by 16 per cent.

This was the year of the ‘menaissance:’ the re-appearance of the sharply dressed man. Men got bolder with their fashion choices: orange shirts were up 361 per cent and pink socks up 75 per cent. Women were equally as adventurous, embracing the trend for clashing floral prints. Floral patterned trousers and flower motif tops were best-sellers.

The report maps key events from the past year to show how they influenced sales. Last year’s surprise TV hit, Gogglebox, prompted sales of laptrays to rise by 18 per cent in February; Prince George prompted a trend in nautical children’s fashion on the Royal Tour Down Under in April, and the playground craze for Loom Bands peaked in May.

Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis, explains: “It seems fitting that in our 150th year as a retailer we are reflecting on the nation’s shopping habits. Since our first shop opened in 1864, John Lewis has a barometer for changing trends and tastes.”

“This year’s report is even more insightful than last year’s, with richer data, including new sections, such as how the nation shops for its children. We hope that in years to come people will turn to our report for a nostalgic glimpse of the trends that shaped the nation’s shopping habits.”

The John Lewis Retail Report is created every year and is based on real data, which comes from the many thousands of customer transactions which take place every day on its website and in its shops.

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