Irony drives sales of retro home equipment
‘Bend me over backwards on me hostess trolley’ sang 80s comedienne Victoria Wood, and it seems that people are once again getting hot under the collar for outdated home equipment, such as the teasmade, Hostess Trolley and the Sodastream.
In their ceaseless attempts to be ‘ironic’ and ‘humorous’ the British public are buying up these retro items, despite the fact that they never worked very well in the first place. John Lewis reports that sales of teasmades are up by 20%, and orders for Hostess trolleys are up by a third, according to its makers.
John Lewis sell a teasmade by Swan for £54.95, which is an updated version of the old wheezing machine your gran used have on her bedside table, next to her teeth and a large print Barbara Taylor Bradford. But this time, it’s popular because it’s COOL.
‘The classic Teasmade has done well because it is quite a quaint, almost comical, product.’ Says Will Jones, electricals buyer at John Lewis. ‘The resurgence in popularity is a combination of the appreciation of the invention but also building a nostalgic concept.’
Next John Lewis will be selling a streamlined version of Dusty Bin and a redesigned Blankety Blank chequebook and pen.