Shopping led by pop culture trends

If our neighbours across the water are anything to go by, Irish shopping habits are increasingly influenced by what we see on TV and on the red carpet.

A report from UK retailer John Lewis found that the “news agenda, the royal family, celebrities, TV shows, and major film premieres all have a big impact” on how people shop.

The digital revolution has meant that shoppers are using smartphones and tablets and are shopping 24 hours a day, with interesting trends emerging in the past year.

For example, news events clearly influenced buying habits, with the horsemeat scandal leading to a 48% increase in sales of a simple plastic mincer. Baking products have also experienced a boom thanks to the popularity of the BBC hit show The Great British Bake Off, with a 62% spike in the sale of food mixers.

Another similarly titled show, The Great British Sewing Bee, led to a tripling of online searches for sewing machines.

The John Lewis study found that searches for runners spiked during Andy Murray’s campaign to becoming Britain’s first Wimbledon champion in 77 years. Meanwhile, the Hollywood movie The Great Gatsby led to a 50% jump in sales of satin gloves and a rise of 27% in the sale of handkerchiefs and waistcoats.

Not surprisingly, given the popularity of shows such as Downton Abbey and Mad Men, British men are going for a more cultured, gentleman-like look. The study found bow tie sales rose by 15% in the past year, cravats by 10%, and brogues by 26%.

Inevitably, as some products rise in popularity, others go out of fashion. For the British, coloured jeans are on the way out, along with table linen, e-readers, and logo-less hand bags.

Also on the way out are 3D TVs, with sales of 3D glasses plummeting by 73%, while sales of in-ear headphones have fallen by 8%.


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