John Lewis: Britain in Lockdown

The retailer has reported higher demand for outdoor toys, craft kits and games and puzzles as families try to keep the kids busy

Written by Georgie Dobie

Posted 07.05.2020 | Retail

John Lewis: Britain in Lockdown thumbnail

The John Lewis Partnership has released its Trends Report, exploring how the nation is spending its time at home during lockdown.

The retailer reports that during the Easter holidays, hot weather and social distancing measures resulted in a peak in outdoor toy sales, as well as arts and crafts kits. According to the report, the JumpKing Oval Trampoline was a best-seller.  

Rachel Larkman, assistant toy buyer at John Lewis, says: "The Easter holidays saw a spike in demand from parents looking for ways to keep the kids engaged, we saw a flurry of sales for outdoor toys including sales of trampolines which were up five times more than usual as well as crafting and art kits up 186 per cent."  

And it’s not just the kids who have been getting craft. The retailer reported that, as customers try to find ways of keeping themselves busy during extended periods spent indoors, John Lewis has seen unprecedented levels of haberdashery items including needlepoint sets, sewing machines, knitting yarn and crafting kits. 

More good news for the toy industry came as the report highlighted that 39 per cent of surveyed adults have been playing traditional games during lockdown. The data comes from a OnePoll research study commissioned by Waitrose and John Lewis in April, whereby 2000 nationally representative UK adults were surveyed about their experiences and habits during lockdown.  

Lucy Benham, assistant Buyer at John Lewis Gifts and Candleshop, says: "We have seen exceptional demand for puzzles and board games with families spending more time together. There has been a clear sense of nostalgia when it comes to customer favourites."  

According to Joh Lewis sales data, during the lockdown period, the most popular board game has been Scrabble, followed by Monopoly, with Bingo ranking third.  

The report highlighted trends in the week prior to lockdown, and the weeks thereafter: 

Week one (15 - 21 March) 

  • The fastest growing sales at Waitrose include toilet roll, baked beans, basmati rice and tins of chicken soup. Pasta sales are treble the usual rate. Spirits sales at Waitrose are up 65 per cent. 
  • John Lewis sees a surge in sales for freezers, laptops and landlines as the nation prepares itself for lockdown.  

Week two (22 - 28 March) 

  • The UK Government enforces freedom of movement restrictions  
  • John Lewis stores close for the first time in its history and traffic lifts on JohnLewis.com  
  • Following Government closure of schools, sales of puzzles, crafting kits, Lego and swing ball sets soar at John Lewis  

Week three (29 March – 4 April)

  • The volume of visits to Johnlewis.com are now spread throughout the day between 8am and 8pm  

Week four (5 – 11 April)

  • Searches for toys and books on JohnLewis.com spike at 8:30pm as parents look for ways to keep children entertained at home  

Week five (12 – 19 April)

  • JohnLewis.com sees customers putting more items in their shopping baskets per shop to streamline deliveries during lockdown  

Week six (20 – 27 April)

  • The John Lewis Partnership announces plans to reopen its Lancashire textiles factory, Herbert Parkinson, to make 8,000 protective gowns for the NHS  


[LIVE] Coronavirus in the toy trade thumbnail

[LIVE] Coronavirus in the toy trade

The latest impact of Covid-19 on the toy industry – suppliers, retailers, trade shows and more

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield reports strong progress on re-opening of its shopping centres thumbnail

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield reports strong progress on re-opening of its shopping centres

As URW launches its #WorkingTogether campaign, it reports that recovery in footfall in markets such as Austria, Germany & the ...

Sainsbury’s CEO makes changes to the operating board thumbnail

Sainsbury’s CEO makes changes to the operating board

Clo Moriarty will take on the new role of retail and digital director and Mark Given, chief marketing officer, has ...

Press Releases

Radio silence broken on Novel Entertainment’s new Horrid Henry podcast thumbnail

Radio silence broken on Novel Entertainment’s new Horrid Henry podcast

The first podcast based on the award-winning Horrid Henry TV series will launch this week under new ‘Horrid Henry Unlocked’ ...

APC Kids signs trio of deals for CTC Media’s Kid-E-Cats thumbnail

APC Kids signs trio of deals for CTC Media’s Kid-E-Cats

New deals sees hit property’s footprint expand in Asia, Latin America and North America

Live the track with the Lego Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R thumbnail

Live the track with the Lego Technic Ducati Panigale V4 R

The Lego Group has revealed its latest Lego Technic model – the Ducati Panigale V4 R

Have a field day with Britains’ New Holland Tractor! thumbnail

Have a field day with Britains’ New Holland Tractor!

Tomy has revealed the latest launch from Britains – a New Holland T8.435 Tractor