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Marie Kondo: how the tidying guru influenced our shopping habits in 2019

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Lauren Geall
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How decluttering guru Marie Kondo made us buy even more stuff

2019’s biggest TV shows are to thank for some of the biggest fashion and lifestyle trends of the year, according to new data from John Lewis which reveals our shopping habits for the year so far.

Forget the runways and catwalks, ditch the fashion pages of your favourite magazine and unfollow all the influencers filling up your feed: our latest style icons are making their statements on the small screen.

According to new statistics released by retailer John Lewis, the TV we consumed in 2019 has seriously shaped our buying habits, from the headbands worn by England’s Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup to the classic flat cap adorned by Birmingham gangster Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Marie Kondo’s decluttering phenomenon actually encouraged us to buy a lot more stuff. After Tidying Up With Marie Kondo arrived on Netflix in January, our appetite for tidiness sent us out of our homes and into the shops to invest in the tools we needed to follow the tidying guru’s expert advice; sales of storage boxes were up 47%, and sales of clothing hooks rose by 36%. 

Ironically, this isn’t the only shopping trend Marie Kondo’s hit series inspired. Fashion designers took the trend and channelled it into Marie Kondo-esque handbags, and we became even more obsessed with storage hacks such as a wall-hung magazine rack or stylish rattan baskets. 

Marie Kondo's decluttering technique
Marie Kondo’s viral decluttering techniques sent us to the shops in our droves to buy new storage boxes and organisational tools.

As was to be expected, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag also came in as one of the biggest shopping influencers of the year, in a phenomenon John Lewis has named the “Fleabag effect”.

After the show’s protagonist Fleabag was shown wearing a pretty iconic black jumpsuit in the first episode of season two (we tracked it down, and it only costs £38) sales of black jumpsuits went up 66%. It’s no surprise: later on in the season, Andrew Scott’s character had the same impact when his preference for M&S tinned G&T’s caused sales of the pre-mixed drink to rise by 24%.

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“This isn’t any G&T in a can, it’s an M&S G&T in a can… an absolute favourite with M&S customers, as well as the occasional vicar as seen recently on the hit show Fleabag,” an M&S spokesperson told Stylist at the time.

“Sales are up 24% since its TV appearance, as even more customers get their hands on the iconic drink, perfect for on-the-go!”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag in the iconic black jumpsuit
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in character as Fleabag.

Alongside Fleabag’s incredible influence, TV shows such as the aforementioned Peaky Blinders are also having a surprising impact on our buying habits. 

After the show’s fifth season hit screens at the end of August, sales of flat caps increased by more than 25%. Sales of slim fit Levi jeans also grew by 8% after the return of Netflix hit Stranger Things, and our appetite for sports headbands was up by 76% after we watched England’s Lionesses smash their matches at the Women’s World Cup. 

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Images: Netflix/BBC