They were the must-have accessories of the upwardly mobile 1980s, but it seems that not even a Royal wedding can persuade today’s gentlemen to press their trousers.
Sales of electric presses, many bearing the insignia of Corby of Windsor, in whose castle the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married in May, have fallen by 36 per cent in the last year alone, John Lewis has revealed in its annual rundown of sales trends.
It said the wedding and the World Cup had contributed to a swing away from traditional products. The trouser press – no longer produced in Windsor but in Huddersfield, by a company that also makes Adam fireplaces – is joined on the list by alarm clocks and door knockers, displaced by mobile phones and video streaming devices, respectively, the store said.
But if men are disinclined to follow Prince Harry’s sartorial example, no such reticence applies to his wife. The Mulberry Darley bag saw a 327 per cent spike after Meghan was photographed with one, while her choice of a bright yellow dress for a reception in July saw sales of similar numbers quadruple.
Meanwhile, the World Cup prompted a 249 per cent rise in sales of 60in televisions, and an 87 per cent increase in the number of corner sofas leaving John Lewis.
Simon Coble, the store’s trading director, said: “It is fascinating to see what trends our customers have fallen in and out of love with this year and how big events like the World Cup and the Royal wedding have such a significant impact on what we buy.”
John Lewis said the year was “one of the toughest retailers have seen”, having reported an 98.8 per cent profits crash for the first half of the year.
It said its “biggest surprise” was a resurgence in thongs and suspenders, after years of declining popularity, with sales up 72 and 132 per cent respectively.