Many employers have taken a flexible approach to work as the world returns to normal. Working from home has become a permanent solution for some employees, while others will return to the office part-time. Whether you’re working from home or in the office, your footwear should always be comfortable so you can focus on your job, not your blisters.
It will come as no surprise that comfortable footwear sales soared in the beginning of 2020. Slippers became the new Louboutin’s as we spent months at home with no reason to dress up in our finest outfit and heels. In fact, John Lewis saw the sales of sheepskin slippers jump by a staggering 60% in 2020. They nearly sold out of their best-selling slippers as both men and women were desperate to get their hands on the most comfortable shoes available.
Similarly, loungewear and activewear sales continued to soar through 2020, exceeding formalwear and office wear. Consumers shopped for clothing they could wear straight away at home and abandoned any thought of future outfits. As the pandemic continued into 2021, the sales of comfy slippers and sweatsuits kept increasing. Consumers want accessible products from reliable brands delivered to their door as quickly as possible. After all, nothing shakes up a remote working day like a delivery – right?
Furthermore, slippers are associated with relaxation and cosiness. In such unprecedented times, UK consumers began to seek comfort and tactility from their shoes and clothing. While we couldn’t get dressed for a night on the town, we could dress for a day at home at our desk. Remote workers started to pair their sweatpants and slippers with a smarter top for Zoom meetings.
However, the increase in comfortable footwear sales was also accelerating before the pandemic began. According to The NPD Group Inc, sales for slippers increased by 21% in 2019 and other footwear sales, like heels and boots, declined by over a quarter.
The fashion industry took a huge hit in 2020 as major brands closed their doors and stores for good. Fashion month was cancelled, and the face of fashion became a pair of Uggs and a pastel sweatsuit instead of a couture gown. As the world reopens, comfort will continue to be a priority for British shoppers. A whopping 70% of consumers said they would continue to dress casually outside of their home and maybe even in the office. Employers are likely to relax their dress code rules to smart-casual instead of office formal.
The business world has undergone countless changes since the pandemic began – between working hours, remote practises and consumer behaviour. Our fashion choices will continue to reflect the shift in our approach to work– although slippers are probably still inappropriate for the office.