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Thursday, October 21, 2021

How middle class has your 2021 been so far?

Video calls remain more popular than they ever were pre-Covid, so we’re still Zoom-scaping our backgrounds and look set to continue to do so in 2022. Sales of vases rose by 21 per cent and dried flowers now account for 10 per cent of the retailer’s flowers sales.

Our new WFH lifestyles also allow us to take care of those lockdown puppies that seemingly everyone got during the height of the pandemic – 3.2 million households got a new pet in the past year. The result? Pet accessory sales were up 113 per cent at John Lewis.

“The nation realised what was important to them and adapted to a new way of life,” John Lewis executive director Pippa Wicks told the Telegraph. “We’ve spent more time indoors than ever before and we’ve noticed customers prioritising changes in their homes, from comfy corner sofas to watch the latest TV show to colourful walls and statement pieces to brighten up their rooms.

“People had more time on their hands and used this to brush up on their culinary skills… [and] we saw how important outdoor space became when we could only meet outside. Even though the summer of 2021 was one of the wettest in recent memory, it didn’t stop the nation from doing what it could.”

The retailer anticipates that – pandemic permitting – these trends will evolve in 2022. With many of us having proved that we can do our jobs effectively from home, we’ll see a rise in “work-cations”, in which we’ll join our colleagues for meetings via video from the Alps during the ski season, or from a Greek villa in the summer.

After last year’s cottagecore trend and this summer’s preppy “tenniscore”, we’ll see more microtrends, born on Instagram and TikTok, that will influence our homes and wardrobes. “Consumers no longer need to buy things to possess them, and they’re finding inspiration in the gloriously niche,” says John Lewis futurologist John Vary. “People’s increased savviness with the technology that became their lifeline during the lockdowns has led to a reimagining of barriers once assumed to be immovable. We no longer have to be in the same room to be together, and we don’t necessarily go on holiday to relax.

“People have identified scope for change, fresh starts and personal reinvention, which is always exciting.”

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