The Moments Economy: How We Shop, Live & Look In 2022
- Major piece of research shows that shoppers are now seeking joy in the everyday moments in life, not just the big experiences - this new ‘Moments Economy’ is a profound shift in British shoppers’ habits
- John Lewis unveils a new promise: to be there ‘for all life’s moments’
- Change at John Lewis begins with own-brand products and experiences created for moments and reimagined store format trial
For the past 18 months, John Lewis has been exploring the changing habits of Britain’s shoppers. The Moments Economy: How We Shop, Live and Look in 2022 marks a profound and exciting shift. While the celebrations and holidays are back and we’re embracing them, shoppers today are bringing joy to each moment – not just the big days, but the everydays too.
From the late 1990s, the “Experience Economy” evolved and gave way to a new, modern shopper investing in unforgettable experiences like travelling the world. Today, something has begun to change. Looking to bring that same joy to all the moments of our lives, we are making more of all the moments in our lives. This is the “Moments Economy”.
A number of factors have driven this shift. In a distracted, digital world, we want to appreciate the small, real moments in our lives. Covid drew us together with our nearest and dearest and we learnt the importance of each and every moment. Despite the cost of living crisis, our thirst for these moments remains. As eight in ten Britons told us, happiness comes from the everyday moments in life.
To rise to the emerging Moments Economy, John Lewis is changing. Always there for the big moments in people’s lives, John Lewis will now become the world’s first moments-based retailer, pledging to be there for customers “for all life’s moments”.
Experience economy evolves
The cost of living crisis won’t deter the majority from making the most of everyday moments. More than three quarters (77%) agreed that despite the rising cost of living, it was still important to experience moments that make them happy and two-thirds (67%) say even if their living standards go down, it won’t stop them wanting to celebrate with friends and family. The majority (72%) say they don’t have to spend a lot of money to make them happy. In the coming year, more people plan to invest in quality time at home with family and friends (50%) than festivals (27%) or big days out (38%).
The importance of everyday moments is reflected in the things people say they want to do more of. Four in ten people have held a dinner party in the last 12 months, while six in ten who say they want to host even more in future. With one in four people making a social moment of watching something on TV, the rise of Netflix parties, which peaked in the pandemic, is a trend that’s here to stay.
New celebratory moments are also breaking through. The rise of the ‘divorce party’ and TikTok break-ups are showing an upward trajectory, with double the amount of social shares compared to 10 years ago. As an antidote, couples are three times more likely to celebrate the anniversary of their first date, while conversation around baby gender reveal parties has increased 250% since 2017.
The power of moments
The research findings indicate that a desire for much deeper connections is driving the importance of quality moments in our customers’ lives.
Cassie Holmes, Professor at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management who contributed to the study said: “The pandemic has made all of us more focussed on those simple, ordinary moments and seeking to enjoy more happiness from them, because we've recognised just how precious our time is.”
2022: how we lived and looked
It’s clear that a number of moments - big and small - have dominated 2022, evidenced by the trending products that defined the year:
- We elevated moments at home with guests - with small gatherings on the rise, making an impression is paramount. Sales of statement white sofas are up 48%, while sales of maximalist ‘bobbin’ furniture quadrupled. Flutes and wine glasses are up 88% and dinner sets up 34%
- …and this continued in our gardens as outdoor furniture sales quadrupled, with BBQs up 175% and pizza ovens up 62%. Looking ahead, 61% of people intend to grow their own food to serve.
- The rise of new moments - pet birthdays saw sales of pet accessories increase 114% as one in five Britons took the time to celebrate the birthday of a four-legged friend
- New working week - many office workers found a new rhythm to life. At home baristas continue to thrive with coffee accessories up 46% as we zoom on Mondays and Fridays, while Tues, Weds and Thursdays in the office saw sales of blazers increase by 75% and formal shoes by 93%
- The return of travel - travel adaptors are up 270% as we rediscovered the world. Our customers bought five times more cabin bags this year as regular mini-breaks became preferable to big holidays. Sales of cameras were also up 20% to capture these longed for moments
- We went wild for our health - nearly half of us spent more time on doing things that promote our wellness. Wild swimming grew in popularity. Sales of changing robes and paddleboards increased as 58% percent of us enjoyed spending more time in nature. Sales of wellness supplements were up 43% as customers looked to improve their inner zen
- We dressed up for the special moments… hats were up 168%, occasion shoes 38% and bridesmaid dresses 19%, as we attended a record number of postponed weddings.
- But wanted comfort day to day… boyfriend jeans are up 85% as we ditched restrictive skinnies, and Uggs are up 646%
What we left behind:
- Wall mounted desks John Lewis has bid farewell to permanent reminders of home working
- Non wired bras As we head out and smarten up, we’re looking for a little more support again
- Microwaves We’re taking our time over cooking once more
- Bread bins Our desire for sleek kitchen counters means we binned the bread bin
- Velour tracksuits The ultimate expression of loungewear is taking a breather
How we shopped
Shopping itself became a moment to treasure, as 60% of people declared they went shopping ‘for the joy of it’. In 2022, for every £10 spent at John Lewis, £5.50 was spent in our shops, up from £3 last year.
The economy of moments
The Moments Economy is a marked change in how people spend. Until recently, we were happy to outsource the creation of the experiences. We’d celebrate by going out to a restaurant. Today, we’re buying tablecloths, wine glasses and entertaining at home. As we become the authors of our own lives, creating our own moments of joy, retailers will have to curate everything their customers might need.
John Lewis: for all life’s moments
In response to these findings, John Lewis today unveils our new promise to customers. In recognition of the way people live today and in the future, we pledge to be there for all of life’s moments.
Pippa Wicks, Executive Director for John Lewis says: “Today marks the first step of our journey to reimagine our business around a powerful insight: the impact of moments. Customers have told us that the everyday moments are a reflection of the lives they want to lead. We are already synonymous with the big occasions, from Christmas to planning a nursery. In rising to the emerging Moments Economy, we will become the place that people know they can come to bring a little joy to all of life’s moments.”
We plan to become the first moments-based retailer through a number of key steps. For Autumn / Winter 2022 the relaunched John Lewis own brand collection is made for all of the moments in our customers’ lives. From the confidence boosting back-to-work blazer through to the sofa built to withstand family life, our own-brand products are thoughtfully designed and made-to-last. This follows the launch of our popular ANYDAY value range, which is expanding by 1200 products across home, fashion, tech and nursery this Autumn / Winter.
In the months to come, we will reimagine our store formats to inspire customers to shop by real-life moments across categories rather than traditional product departments. We will roll out further products and services to ensure that we inspire people beyond the big occasions, bringing joy to all life’s moments.
About the report
The Moments Economy, How We Shop Live and Look report includes data from a 5,000 person survey, analysis of the shopping habits of millions of John Lewis customers, social media analysis of over 20 million data-points, qualitative research with customers, and interviews with world-renowned experts in economics, psychology, health, home, family and lifestyle.
About the John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.
John Lewis operates 34 shops plus one outlet across the UK as well as johnlewis.com. Waitrose has 331 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 59 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. The retailer's omnichannel business includes the online grocery service, Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitroseflorist.com for plants and flowers.