Fish kettles, cocktail shakers and women’s suspenders fall out of fashion

Fish kettles, cocktail shakers and women’s suspenders have fallen out of fashion as British shoppers sent sales of luxury loungewear and sports headbands soaring, according to John Lewis.

Sales of landlines plummeted by 20% last year and are down 45% since 2014 as customers increasingly rely on their smartphones to communicate, the department store’s annual Retail Report said.

The increasing quality of smartphone cameras is also thought to be responsible for a 33% drop in camcorder sales, while sales of mantel clocks – once the centrepiece of the living room – are down 30% as people turn to their voice-activated speakers for the time.

A mantel clock. (John Lewis/PA)
Shoppers no longer have time for mantel clocks (John Lewis/PA)

In the kitchen, the boom in artisan tonics is thought to be behind a drop in sales of cocktail shakers, while John Lewis stopped selling fish kettles entirely as formal dinner parties fell out of favour.

Meanwhile, the retailer removed clutch bags from its own-brand accessories range, and sales of women’s suspenders fell 8% as customers opted instead for comfortable underwear, luxury loungewear and “modest” longer hemlines and looser silhouettes.

Sales of suspenders are down 8% on last year at John Lewis. (John Lewis/PA)
Sales of suspenders are down 8% on last year at John Lewis (John Lewis/PA)

The retailer also revealed that it stopped selling drones in May this year following disruption involving the devices at Gatwick Airport in December which affected roughly 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights.

Sales of reusable water bottles jumped by 15% in the week before the Glastonbury Festival, which had announced a ban on single-use plastic, while sales of sports headbands and goal posts surged as the nation cheered on the Lionesses in the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Simon Coble, trading director at John Lewis & Partners, said: “As a destination for customers during key life moments and big decisions, understanding how the nation shops, lives and looks remains at the top of our agenda.”

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