Death of the DVD? John Lewis kills off players as people turn to streaming sites like Netflix

The department store says other casualties of modern shopping trends include the alarm clock

Anthony Cuthbertson
Wednesday 09 January 2019 10:08 GMT
Is this the death of the DVD player?
Is this the death of the DVD player?

The decline of DVDs that began with the advent of streaming sites like Netflix may finally be terminal, after John Lewis became the first major retailer in the UK to stop selling DVD players in its stores.

The move follows a 40 per cent drop in sales of the devices in 2018, according to the department store's annual retail report, however the firm plans to keep selling Blu-ray players.

Separate figures from London-based market research company Mintel show that only 56 per cent of UK households currently own a DVD player – down from 83 per cent in 2012.

The death knell for DVDs first began ringing in 2016, which marked the year that streaming and download services finally overtook physical formats like DVDs and videos as the main way of consuming media in the home.

That same year, figures from the Entertainment Retailers Association showed that revenue from DVDs and Blu-ray discs fell by 17 per cent to £894 million.

John Lewis's annual shopping trends report also revealed that alarm clocks may also be on their way out, with multi-functional smartphones increasingly used to wake people up.

Sales of the bedside items fell by 16 per cent in 2018, prompting the retailer to reduce its alarm clock range by 30 per cent.

On the other end of the scale were items like robot lawnmowers and sustainable water bottles, which saw an uptick in sales over the year.

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The retailer said the "biggest surprise" was the resurgence of thongs and suspenders, which saw sales increase by 72 per cent and 132 per cent respectively.

"It is fascinating to see what trends our customers have fallen in and out of love with this year," said John Lewis trading director Simon Coble.

"How we shop is changing at incredible speed and shops need to combine the very best in service and experiences with unique and fantastic products... It is our job not only to celebrate what makes us stand out as a business but also to help our customers celebrate everything that makes them unique too."

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