Meghan Markle: Duchess of Sussex helped boost yellow dress sales by 400% at John Lewis

The retailer also saw an increase in TV sales after England got to the World Cup semi-finals this summer

Caitlin Morrison
Tuesday 23 October 2018 11:01 BST
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The Duchess of Sussex helped boost sales of yellow clothing this year, while Love Island led to a spike in thong purchases, according to John Lewis.

In its annual retail report, the department store revealed that searches for ‘yellow’ shot up around the time Meghan Markle wore a bright yellow dress at a Commonwealth reception in July. The store has recorded a 401 per cent increase in yellow dress sales over the past year.

Meanwhile, sales of the Mulberry Darley bag rose 327 per cent after the duchess was spotted with one, while sales of beauty products by Meghan’s facialist, Sarah Chapman, have risen 57 per cent since the royal wedding.

John Lewis also highlighted the return of Love Island to TV screens as a major event in the retail calendar, reporting a 51 per cent uptick in sales of Elemis fake tan, while sales of thongs jumped by 72 per cent.

The World Cup also provided a boost, with TV sales rising 49 per cent after England beat Colombia in the knockout stage.

Simon Coble, partner and trading director at John Lewis, said that past 12 months marked “one of the most challenging years retail has faced”.

He added: “Uncertainty dominated this year, as the high street faced not only difficult trading conditions but low consumer confidence. In the most promotional market for almost a decade, distressed retailers discounted more than ever and questions surrounding Brexit affected the value of sterling. The business rates debate hit the headlines and the housing market was subdued as Britons put a halt on moving house.”

Mr Coble noted that John Lewis had not avoided the pitfalls of the challenging retail market - earlier this year, the high street stalwart announced that it would be closing stores and subsequently revealed that profits had been all but wiped out.

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“But unlike some of our competitors, we are a business determined to play the long game, with a unique ownership model that provides a strong foundation and an ability to think long term,” he added.

“This year was all about identity. Who we are, what we say, what we care about. Individuality and individualism. What we bought and why we bought it took on a new meaning - it was how we made a statement about who we are.

“And the idea of identity also became central to John Lewis’s long-term plans - feeding into a unique opportunity to build a business that is even more differentiated and relevant.”

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