Summary of our market study

The global handbag market is on a growth trajectory, expected to expand from a valuation of US$ 49.1 billion in 2021 to US$ 81.6 billion by 2030, progressing at a CAGR of 5.8%. Despite a significant setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a 38.2% decline in U.S. market sales, recovery efforts are underway with digitalization, eco-responsibility, and the burgeoning second-hand market as key drivers. The luxury segment, particularly, is flourishing, projected to hit US$ 35.4 billion by 2031. The U.S. remains a net importer of handbags, with imports dominated by Italy (26.0%) and a notable domestic shift towards vertical integration in the value chain. Online sales, while currently accounting for 23.51% of total U.S. fashion item sales in 2021, are expected to see a slight decrease by 2025 to 22.23%. Social media platforms such as Instagram are propelling e-commerce, influencing purchasing behaviors especially among the younger generations. Regulations mandate compliance with labeling, certification, and safety standards, with California's Proposition 65 setting stringent warnings for chemical exposures.

Diverse Demand Dynamics in the Contemporary Handbag Market

In recent years, the handbag market has seen a vibrant ebb and flow caused by various factors. The investment value of luxury bags has been a significant driver, with secondary markets witnessing an impressive 430% increase in demand for Hermès bags as an example. Despite handbags being recognised traditionally as women's accessories, notable growth in demand among men's handbags signifies a shift towards functionality and style in male consumer preferences. This diversification isn't limited to demographics, as the demand spans across age groups from teenagers to retirees. The US market, in particular, has faced its set of challenges, with sales experiencing a sharp decline after the 2008-2009 financial crisis and again in 2020 due to the pandemic, indicating the market's sensitivity to broader economic conditions. Despite this, the industry is on an upswing, with sales figures attempting to surpass pre-crisis levels.

Foreign trade in handbags reveals the United States as a net importer, with European countries like Italy and France leading the export pack due to the luxury segment's high price points rather than sheer volume. Importantly, the second-hand market has burgeoned in the United States, growing at a remarkable 32% in 2021 and propelling forward to an estimated value of between $80 and $85 billion by 2026. Driving this growth is a combination of consumer motivations—financial savings, access to premium brands, and unique finds. The affinity for designer handbags in the United States is evident through internet searches, with luxury brands like Chanel, Coach, and Gucci being top-searched terms alongside the word "handbag." This indicates a strong interest in both luxury and mid-range priced bags that balance affordability with aspirational brand identities. The second-hand and resale markets are revolutionizing the way we engage with luxury goods, especially handbags. Gen Z, in particular, shows a pronounced inclination towards sustainable and thrifty choices, fueling the growth of platforms like ThredUp and Vestiaire Collective. This shift leans towards a more cyclic economic model, embracing rental and resale over ownership—a significant nod to sustainability. Inextricably linked to these trends are intricate market forces such as vertical integration of supply chains among.

Key Market Players Shaping the Global Handbag Industry

The global handbag market is characterized by a diverse mix of companies that range from iconic luxury brands to fast-fashion retailers, each playing a significant role in the industry's dynamic. Let's delve into the various major players that have been mentioned and their distinctive place in this vibrant marketplace.

  • Luxury Titans Lead the Pack Internationally renowned for their craftsmanship and prestige, companies like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci are synonymous with luxury. Hermès stands out with its Birkin bag, often considered the pinnacle of luxury handbags, while Louis Vuitton’s Speedy 25 remains an evergreen favorite among luxury enthusiasts. Gucci, not far behind, has successfully penetrated the digital realm, offering products such as NFTs and making historic sales in the metaverse that eclipse real-world values.
  • Tapestry (US) Boasting esteemed brands such as Coach, Tapestry is a prominent American multinational luxury fashion holding company. Known for its commitment to quality and design, Coach has become a beloved brand that resonates with a broad audience, offering a fusion of luxury with accessible fashion.
  • Tory Burch (US) Tory Burch, another American brand celebrity, has carved out a reputation for its preppy-boho style that appeals to a wide demographic. They manage to blend elegance with practicality in their handbag collections, bringing a touch of understated luxury to everyday life.
  • High-End Market and its Contenders In the high-end segment, Michael Kors and Rebecca Minkoff stand out. Michael Kors, in particular, is known for its sleek and accessible luxury accessories, including a wide range of handbags that blend attainability with a luxury feel.
  • Mid-Range and Entry-Level Brands Dooney & Bourke and Vera Bradley represent the mid-range market, offering quality handbags with distinctive designs at more affordable price points. These brands find favor with consumers who seek both style and value. In juxtaposition, brands like H&M and Shein dominate the entry-level market with their trend-driven and highly affordable handbags. These labels cater to fashion-conscious consumers who prioritize variety and value for money.
  • Pioneering Second-Hand and Digital Arena ThredUp and Vestaire Collective are two platforms that reflect the shifting consumer attitudes towards sustainability and second-hand fashion. These platforms enable fashion enthusiasts to engage in circular fashion, reselling and purchasing luxury bags, among other items.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A handbag is a fashion accessory that has a functional purpose (to store keys, a phone...) but is obviously also used to reveal one's personality and clothing style. If the handbag is mainly intended for women, more and more mixed models appear as the tote bag or the crossbag.

Handbags are characterized by :

  • Their range and brand: luxury, high-end, mid-range, entry-level
  • Their shape and size: tote bag, clutch, shoulder bag, bucket bag, etc.
  • Material: leather, synthetic, textile, recycled material, etc.

The global handbag market is expected to grow at a steady pace, with an average annual growth rate of 5.8% until 2030.

In addition, new growth drivers are emerging, in particular the digitalization of the sector, the development of the second-hand market, as well as the growing attention of consumers to the eco-responsibility of the products they buy.

While the Covid-19 epidemic led to a drop in sales during containment, structural growth in the market appears solid. Major U.S. specialty players in the market include Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade. in addition to these, there are foreign specialist players, particularly European ones such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci, not forgetting the ready-to-wear, accessories and shoe brands that often also offer handbags.

All these players are often manufacturers who distribute their products directly. However, handbags are also distributed in department stores, such as Bloomingdale's, supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as on the Internet by pure players, such as Asos.

1.2 The global market

Global Handbag Market Size World, ****-****, US$ billion TCAM ****-****: +*.* Source: ****

The global handbag market is valued at US$ **.* billion in ****. It is expected to grow steadily to reach US$**.* billion in ****, representing a CAGR of *.*% over the period.

Looking at the growth segments of the handbags market, we can see ...

1.3 The U.S. market is trying to recover from the crisis

US handbag sales by value in billion US$, United States, ****-**** Source: ****

US handbag sales in volume in billion units sold, United States, ****-**** Source: Travel Goods Association Handbag market sales have been particularly sensitive to the various crises. Indeed, after the ****-**** crisis, sales fell by **.*% in value between **** and ...

1.4 Foreign trade in handbags

Trade Balance united States, ****-****, in billions of US$ and in % Source: UN Comtrade With the use of the following codes: ******, Cases and containers; handbags (***), with outer surface of leather or of composition leather ******, Cases and containers; handbags (***), with outer surface of sheeting of plastics or of textile materials ******, Cases and ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Demand and its determinants

Handbag consumers

The majority of handbag consumers are women, and there is a certain correlation between the increase in the proportion of working women and the growth in sales of luxury bags: since they have greater purchasing power, they redirect their income towards luxury purchases, rather than towards lower ranges.[***]

However, ...

2.2 Americans are very interested in designer handbags

A strong interest in luxury and affordable handbags

Google Trends analysis - **/**/****

When we look at the top ten topics associated with the term "handbag" in Google searches of the last ** months in the USA, we see that * of them refer to luxury brands or to the terms "brand" and " ...

2.3 Second hand, a new way of consuming handbags

Second hand market

Second-hand market in the United States uS$ billion, United States, ****-**** Source: ****

Secondhand is becoming increasingly important in the way younger generations consume. The second-hand market grew at a record pace in **** with an increase of **% to reach US$** billion.

The U.S. used clothing market will reach ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Forces at work

Vertical integration of the value chain: a new market trend

More and more luxury brands are embarking on vertical integration of their supply chains. Vertical integration is a strategy that allows a company to control its value chain by integrating new activities with its production activity. This can be achieved through ...

3.2 Handbag production in the United States

Number of employees in the US apparel manufacturing industry in thousands, ****-****, United States Source: ****

Handbag manufacturing, like apparel manufacturing, has fewer and fewer employees and production units.

Number of firms manufacturing women's handbags by number of employees Number of firms, U.S., **** Source: ****

The majority of handbag firms have fewer ...

3.3 Distribution

The distribution of handbags is managed in * main types of actors:

Own brands that distribute online and physical : luxury brands through their own stores: Louis Vuitton, Gucci... fast fashion brands: H&M, Primark, Zara... handbag specialist brands: Kate Spade, Michael Kors...

Multi-brand distributors: physical and online generalists department stores: Macy's, Nordstrom, ...

3.4 Is the acceleration of online distribution coming to an end?

Online retail market share of apparel, footwear and accessories as % of total sales, United States, ****-**** source: Statista

In ****, online sales of fashion items accounted for **.**% of total sales in the US. The Statista Digital Market Outlook for online sales predicts a decline: in **** the estimated market share is **.**%.

Ranking of ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Typology of the handbag offer

The handbag market can be divided into several segments, depending on the range, the model or the material used.

The different product lines are as follows:

Luxury handbags : these are handbags made with quality materials (***) and according to advanced processes. Luxury handbags can be found between ***€ and several thousand euros.for ...

4.2 Handbag prices

As mentioned in the previous section, handbag prices vary depending on many factors such as the brand, the type of product or the material used.

4.3 Trends in handbag supply

More responsible bags

In response to consumers who are increasingly eager to respect ethical values and adopt more responsible and environmentally conscious consumption, bag brands are offering a range of more eco-responsible products:

vegan leather bags: pineapple leather, solvent-free vegan leather, etc. luxury bags that are increasingly moving towards eco-design bags ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Current regulations

Textile, Wool, Fur, Clothing and Leather Issues

Federal law requires that most textile and wool products be labeled with the fiber content, country of origin, and the identity of the manufacturer or other company responsible for marketing or handling the product.

For fur, labels must include the name of the animal, ...

6 Positioning of the actors

6.1 Segmentation of actors

  • LVMH Groupe
  • Kering
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • H&M Groupe
  • Michael Kors
  • Shein
  • Inditex groupe (Zara)
  • Mango
  • Louis Vuitton Malletier
  • Chanel
  • Chloé
  • Le Tanneur
  • Lacoste Groupe
  • Lancaster Maroquinier
  • Longchamp
  • Hermès International
  • eBay
  • Vestiaire Collective
  • Asos
  • MACY's
  • Vinted
  • The Real Real Inc. Company
  • Bloomingdale's

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Size of the global handbag market
  • Handbag sales in the USA, by value
  • US handbag sales by volume
  • Trade balance
  • Top supplying countries for handbags
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Latest news

Chanel investe ancora in Italia: nuova giunteria per Gensi Group - 29/02/2024

1. **Investimento Chanel nel Calzaturificio Gensi Group**: - Inaugurazione di un nuovo reparto di giunteria di 3.000 metri quadrati nel sito produttivo di Mosciano Sant'Angelo (Teramo). - Attivazione di 4 nuove linee di produzione da 70 metri ciascuna. - Attualmente, 6 linee di produzione sono in funzione, con un piano di raddoppio nei prossimi 3 anni attraverso l'inserimento di nuove risorse professionali. 2. **Iniziative Aziendali per la Sostenibilità**: - Formazione di 3 gruppi di lavoro dedicati alla sostenibilità ambientale dell'azienda un anno fa. - Riduzione dei consumi energetici e degli scarti di lavorazione. - Avanzamenti nel riciclo e riuso. - Avvio dell'istituto interno di formazione "M'Astri Nascenti" in collaborazione con Arsutoria School, con 60 persone formate fino ad oggi. 3. **Forza Lavoro e Piani di Assunzione**: - Attualmente, l'azienda ha oltre 660 collaboratori, dei quali oltre 120 sono orlatrici. - Sono previste nuove assunzioni per aumentare ulteriormente la forza lavoro. 4. **Produzione Chanel e Supply Chain Italiana**: - Le calzature Chanel sono progettate in Francia ma prodotte in Italia. - Aziende italiane controllate da Chanel implicate nella produzione: Roveda di Parabiago (acquisita nel 1999), Gensi di Giulianova (acquisita nel 2015), e Ballin Shoes (acquisita nel 2020).

Hermès continues to raise prices - 09/02/2024
  • - Hermès sales in 2023 will be 13.4 billion euros, up 16% on the previous year and 21% at constant exchange rates.
  • - Net income is up 28% to 4.3 billion euros.
  • - Hermès has a market value of 231 billion euros.
  • - Hermès has increased its prices by 8 to 9% in 2023.
  • - 22,000 Hermès employees worldwide.
  • - More than 60% of new jobs created in France, where Hermès manufactures three quarters of its products.
Gucci: a challenge for Kering - 08/01/2024
  • Gucci, Kering's flagship brand, guarantees two thirds of the group's profits.
  • Kering acquired a 30% stake in Valentino.
  • Kering also bought Creed perfumes.
  • Balenciaga, one of Kering's brands, has been in difficulty since November 2022
Host and Primark: The nightmare continues for H&M, overtaken by Shein - 15/12/2023
  • H&M posted annual sales up 6% to 21 billion euros
  • Spanish brand Zara saw an 11% increase in sales for the first nine months of the year, representing 25.6 billion euros and a profit in excess of 4 billion euros.
  • British brand Primark achieved sales in excess of 23 billion euros at the end of its September trading year.
  • Chinese online retailer Shein is targeting sales of €40 billion this year, while its rival Temu is aiming for €33 billion.
  • H&M reduced the number of its stores and cut 1,500 jobs last year as part of a rescue plan.
Five things you need to know about Inditex, the owner of Zara stores - 17/09/2023
  • Founded sixty years ago, the group is now the third-largest in the sector in terms of value (after Dior and Nike),
  • Present in 94 countries by the end of 2022, with over 160,000 employees
  • Inditex flagship Zara. The brand operates 1,878 points of sale by the end of April 2023.
  • In France, the brand has 113 stores.
  • Since 2020, the Inditex group has been closing less profitable stores.
  • In the United States, the brand is on a roll: a total of 35 stores are scheduled to open in 2023, making it the second-largest market after Spain.
  • Zara and Inditex have played a major role in the creation of the "fast fashion" concept.
  • Today, the group comprises seven brands: Zara (clothing and home furnishings with Zara Home), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho (underwear, swimwear and sportswear) and Massimo Dutti in the high-end segment.
  • The total number of stores is 5,800.
  • In 2020, with the Covid pandemic, online sales soared by 77% for the group as a whole, representing a third of the total.
  • Most garments are produced in Spain, Portugal, Morocco or Turkey, while competitors continue to produce largely in Asia.
Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius: the recipes behind Inditex's phenomenal success with teenagers - 14/09/2023
  • The Inditex Group, which owns Bershka, Zara, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Oysho and Massimo Dutti, has forecast net earnings of €2.51 billion for 2023
  • Bershka, P&B and Stradivarius account for just 20% of group sales, while Zara accounts for over 70% of total sales.
  • All brands reported year-on-year sales growth
  • Bershka saw its sales increase by 12.3% this year
  • Chinese competitor SheIn achieved estimated sales of $30 billion in 2022, almost as much as all Inditex banners combined in the same year (32 billion euros).
  • Bershka, Stradivarius and Pull&Bear have stores in Europe.

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. :

LVMH Groupe
H&M Groupe
Michael Kors
Inditex groupe (Zara)
Louis Vuitton Malletier

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