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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Market overview

A rucksack is a storage space carried on the back, which places the weight of the equipment it contains on the shoulders by means of padded, adjustable shoulder straps, and sometimes on the hips by means of a belt. Its main volume capacity is expressed in liters, and varies from half a dozen liters for running bags and small hiking bags, to around a hundred for hiking and mountain models.the backpack sector is highly segmented, with many different models for a variety of uses. In this study, we will look at :

  • school, sports and hiking backpacks ;
  • backpacks for everyday and urban use ;
  • leather goods backpacks;
  • large-capacity backpacks;
  • connected backpacks.

The global market, estimated at $15.9 billion in 2022, is expanding rapidly and is expected to register a CAGR of 8.94% over the period 2023 - 2030. However, growth in this market has recently been revised downwards, as players are becoming increasingly concentrated. Large groups are buying out their competitors and creating powerful conglomerates. For example, the American group VF Coportation owns Eastpak, Jansport, Timberland and The North Face.

France is a leading player on the European market, both in terms of consumption and production, with a rather upmarket/premium positioning based on the know-how of the textile and leather goods industries. Its trade balance was positive in 2022, at 7.1 billion dollars. Some sectors are particularly backpack-friendly. Tourism, sport and schools are the sectors that most influence demand for backpacks. This is illustrated by the striking periodicity of demand.

The competitive landscape is characterized by the presence of numerous players positioned in the various product segments, although a phenomenon of concentration is beginning to be observed, particularly in the United States. However, new players can achieve spectacular breakthroughs, such as the French company Cabaïa, which was founded in 2015, but will market its first backpack model in 2019. Cabaïa became the second-largest player in the French market after Eastpak, and had sold 500,000 models by 2021.

1.2 Global backpack market enjoys stable growth

The global backpack market was estimated at $**.* billion in ****, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of *.**% over the period **** - ****. It should therefore reach a value of $**.** billion in ****.

evolution of the global backpack market World, **** - ****, in $ billions Source: ****

It's an expanding market, although its growth has been ...

1.3 A bright outlook for the French market

The French backpack market is extremely competitive, with several hundred players offering the same types of products. It's difficult to know the figures for this market, but we can find information on larger markets encompassing the backpack market. For example, the Conseil National du Cuir(***) groups together travel bags, sports bags, ...

1.4 Good French export results

French imports and exports of backpacks are difficult to assess, as the backpack market overlaps with other markets (***). We will therefore look at imports and exports of items under customs tariff number ****, which includes backpacks.

[***] French imports of trunks, suitcases and briefcases by value France, **** - ****, in thousands of $ Source: ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Trends driven by tourism

The backpack market is extremely segmented, as this item can be used for many different purposes: tourism, study, work, sport... In each section, we'll focus on these different uses

The state of the backpack market is strongly correlated with that of the tourism market, which will be worth $*,*** billion by ****. France, ...

2.2 The school backpack, a real demand factor

Backpacks for schoolchildren and students are an important segment of the French backpack market , and some companies derive a considerable proportion of their sales from this segment.

This segment is driven by growth in the number of secondary school pupils and students.

secondary school enrolment trends France, **** - ****, in thousands Source: ...

2.3 Sports backpacks: an ever-expanding range

The backpack is benefiting from the French craze for sporting activities. In fact, as Travelski reports, using figures from ANMSM (***).

Some manufacturers specializing in mountaineering, such as Millet, now offer a range of smaller backpacks with their " Day-packs ", a collection of some fifteen models starting at ** liters. Their look is more ...

2.4 Highly periodic demand

Demand is highly periodic. In fact, every year, the leather goods and travel goods trade sees its sales index rise sharply around the festive season, a sign of strong sales.

Periodicity of the sales index for the leather goods and travel goods trade France, **** - ****, in Source: ****

These data perfectly illustrate ...

2.5 Innovation and top-of-the-range: two new consumer demands


Innovation is a constant in the French backpack market, with the aim of improving technical performance and comfort. Lowe Alpine, positioned at the top end of the market, has specialized in the technical segment, with backpacks for serious sports enthusiasts (***), as well as models with adjustable back systems without metal ...

3 Market structure

3.1 French backpack industry players and positioning

Source: ****

Typically, backpacks are manufactured in Asia and then transported to Europe or America. They are then sent to wholesalers where they are stored before being dispatched to stores and end-users.

Some national brands, however, prefer ***% French production, such as Bleu de Chauffe, whose workshops are located in Aveyron and whose ...

3.2 Case study: the production stages of an Osprey backpack

The creation of a new Osprey backpack consists of the following four main stages :

- Creation, called "Line Review *" : product designers gather, propose and discuss ideas;

- Design, called "Line Review *" : this stage involves the management teams, who establish the bag's various functions, specifications and price;

- Prototyping, known as "Line ...

3.3 A fragmented market that is gradually becoming more concentrated

In France, the backpack market is highly fragmented, with many different players. As we explained earlier, backpack manufacturers can be leather goods specialists, companies specializing in backpacks such as Cabaïa or Fjällräven, or companies making bags of all kinds, including backpacks. like Cabaïa or Fjällräven, ...

3.4 Focus on the leather goods sector

Sector presentation:

Leather goods refers to the industry of fine leathers used to manufacture or upholster high-end articles. Backpacks are leather goods, but so are trunks, suitcases, briefcases, wallets, watch straps, belts, horse saddles... This sector includes numerous smallbusinesses, many of which work as subcontractors for major French luxury goods groups ...

3.5 Different distribution channels

As explained in *.*, there is a wide range of distribution players, and different types of manufacturer use different distribution channels.

Major French groups such as LVMH or Kering sell their products through exclusive outlets, i.e. in their own chains or in department stores after setting up a stand. On the ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 A wide variety of products on the market

Backpacks are bags with two straps for the arms, designed to be worn on the back. Some are equipped with waist belts to support the hips, and sometimes with torso belts for optimum support.

Backpacks come in a range of sizes (***), from ** liters for small urban or sports bags, to over ...

4.2 Prices vary widely depending on product quality and use

The prices of different backpacks are directly linked to the type of product and the brand. It's therefore very difficult to describe what's on offer on the market, since it spans all price ranges. Generally speaking, everyday backpacks and school backpacks are affordable, available for under €**, although some brands offer much ...

5 Regulations

5. Standards and rules applicable to the manufacture and use of various types of backpacks

Importing and exporting bags and suitcases from China:

For most backpacks, no specific standards apply when importing from China. However, the European REACH regulation (***), which came into force in ****, aims to identify, evaluate and control chemical substances manufactured, imported and placed on the European market. The various materials and substances used ...

6 Positioning the players

6. Segmentation

  • Osprey Europe
  • Lowe Alpine (Rab Equipment group)
  • Hedgren
  • Samsonite
  • Body Pack
  • Herschel Supply Co.
  • American Tourister (Samsonite groupe)
  • Bentley
  • Kipling (VF International)
  • Schneiders Bags
  • Columbia Sports Wear
  • Deuter (Groupe Schwan Stabilo)
  • Go Sport France
  • The North Face
  • VF Corporation
  • Millet
  • Aigle
  • Lafuma
  • Cabaia Valtex
  • Decathlon Groupe
  • Piquadro

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Market share of leading luxury leather brands
  • Projected leather sales
  • Global backpack market trends
  • Estimated market size for the manufacture of travel goods, leather goods and saddlery
  • Estimated size of the leather goods and travel goods retail market
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Latest news

Decathlon: all the 2023 performance figures - 05/04/2024
  • - Worldwide sales 2023: 15.6 billion euros, up +4.4% on 2022
  • - Decathlon presence: 78 countries.
  • - Number of products sold worldwide last year: 1.19 billion.
  • - Share of digital sales: 17.4%
  • - Sales in France: 4.752 billion euros, up +1.24% on 2022.
  • - Total number of stores worldwide: 1,749, including 319 in France.
  • - Total number of employees: 101,000, including 24,000 in France.
Decathlon revolutionizes itself to become a global brand - 13/03/2024
  • - Company sales: 15.4 billion euros
  • - Number of stores: Over 1700
  • - Presence in 69 countries
  • - Number of brands developed by employees : Over 70
  • - Number of disciplines covered by brands: Around one hundred
  • - Focus on product-related services: rental, second-hand, subscription, recycling, etc.
Decathlon sells store premises for 600 million euros - 12/12/2023
  • The network has 1,751 stores worldwide.
  • Décathlon has just sold the walls of 90 of its stores for 600 million euros.
  • The decision was taken to remove many of the company's brands from the shelves. Of the current 49 stores, only around 15 are expected to remain by next year.
  • The recent acquisition of, a German online retailer of mountain sports equipment.

Decathlon: camping aisles looted in Israel after Hamas raid amas - 17/10/2023
  • Number of Decathlon employees in Israel: 500
  • Number of Decathlon stores in Israel: 10
  • Most popular sector: Camping
Decathlon changes strategy - 22/07/2023
  • Decathlon intends to reduce the number of its brands from 49 to around 15 over the next year.
  • The company aims to reduce the in-store offer by 20% by streamlining its brands.
  • The company has 1,751 stores worldwide, including 325 in France.
  • In 2022, Decathlon generated sales of 15.4 billion euros, including 4.7 billion euros in France.
  • Decathlon's online sales accounted for 16.8% of total sales in 2022, rising to 20.8% in 2021.
  • Over the past two years, Decathlon has begun to reduce the sales area of some of its stores from 500 to 1,500 m2.
  • Its rival Intersport, with 800 stores and sales of 3.3 billion euros, is aiming for sales of 5 billion euros by 2025.
Intersport to the rescue of Go Sport - 08/06/2023
  • Intersport takes over 72 Go Sport stores
  • 1,446 employees taken over out of 1,574
  • 50 Go Sport stores will become Intersport
  • 22 Go Sport stores to remain Go Sport
  • Target: 250 new Go Sport stores by 2030
  • Target sales: over €650 million
  • Intersport - 800 Intersport stores
  • Intersport sales in 2022: 3.3 billion euros
  • Intersport target with the arrival of Go Sport: 4.4 billion euros
  • Decathlon sales: 4.5 billion euros

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Osprey Europe
Lowe Alpine (Rab Equipment group)
Body Pack
Herschel Supply Co.
American Tourister (Samsonite groupe)
Kipling (VF International)
Schneiders Bags
Columbia Sports Wear

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