Content of the study:
The leather goods market - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Leather goods include the manufacture and distribution of small, fine leather goods, generally in the luxury sector. This includes leather bags, wallets, bracelets, belts, saddlery and car accessories, for example, but excludes glove-making and shoe-making.

France excels in this sector of high value-added activities requiring a skilled workforce. Its companies, major international luxury groups, export the "made in France " brand image to perfection, particularly in Asia where demand has been growing for several years.

But leather goods figures are also growing within France, boosted by a flourishing tourism industry after a drop in 2016, as well as a favorable economic context for individuals.

The leather goods industry is thus evolving in a high competitive environment, where fashion effects are obviously present; it is therefore appropriate for companies present in the market to adapt as finely as possible to demand, especially for new players who must build a brand image.Finally, the leather industry in general is threatened by a growing environmental and animal awareness of the population, favoring alternative products that are more environmentally friendly and of vegetable or synthetic origin.

The COVID-19 health crisis has drastically reduced activity in the luxury sector, and therefore in the leather goods segment. Indeed, as a large part of the activity is determined by external demand and the arrival of tourists in France, the leather goods sector has suffered an overall drop in sales.

1.2 The good prospects of the world market

Different leather goods generally have both functional and aesthetic value. Leather accessories also generally have a longer life cycle than non-leather apparel and fashion accessories, especially when it comes to high-end products that increase in value over time. Growing segments of the leather accessory fashion market include carrying products, gloves and ...

1.3 The good health of French leather goods manufacturers

Total billings of leather goods in France in **** were €*.** billion excluding taxes, according to the Conseil National du Cuir. This figure has been growing steadily since ****, when it peaked at €*.** billion (***). [***]. The growth of the French market in the period prior to the health crisis can be explained by the fact ...

1.4 The COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the sector

The leather goods sector is driven by its high-end part. Overall, the luxury goods sector was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis in ****. Indeed, for the first time since ****, the core luxury goods market recorded a **% decline to *** billion euros. [***] The entire luxury goods market declined by more than €* trillion worldwide. ...


2.1 Foreign demand, an important determinant of the high-end segment of the leather goods market

Given the export-driven nature of the leather goods market, demand is naturally determined by a large number of external factors.The current health crisis, particularly in Asian countries and the United States, has led to a decline in visa applications for France since the beginning of the year.

Indeed, the number ...

2.2 Demand for leather goods in France

The handbag is the main product of the leather goods market. Indeed, according to figures published by the INSEE in ****, **% of leather goods and saddlery products sold are handbags (***)

The top four companies account for nearly two-thirds of the production sold. These are major French brands: Chanel, Hermès, Longchamp and ...

2.3 Counterfeiting in the field of leather goods

Seizures of counterfeit products in France have increased **-fold between **** and ****, to *.* million products. This is a scourge for the fashion and luxury sectors, which are the first to be affected by counterfeiting. [***]

Industries most affected by counterfeiting World, ****, % of total value Source: ****

Thus, as we can see from the above ...

2.4 Sustainable fashion leads to a profound change in the demand for leather goods

The general awareness of the various issues of sustainable fashion (***) has given rise to new expectations among consumers. In fact, nearly **% of French people now say that the commitment of brands and companies to sustainable development and sustainable fashion is an important criterion when it comes to choosing their items. [***]

Sustainable ...

2.5 Made-in-France and the brand image of French leather goods, beyond luxury

The Made-in-France label is a guarantee of quality in the leather goods sector. Indeed, French leather goods production benefits from a brand image that does not only concern the high-end segment. According to a survey conducted by BCG, France ranks second in terms of recognition of its know-how. Although Italy is ...


3.1 A growing national productive fabric

Companies and employees

With *** companies and **,*** employees recorded in ****, according to information from the Conseil National du Cuir, the industrial fabric of the French leather goods sector has been growing at a steady pace for several years. [***] In five years, the number of companies has increased by *.*% and the number of ...

3.2 Market concentration around three players

Sales of luxury leather goods are largely concentrated around three major brands: Louis Vuitton (***).

Market share

The LVMH group is without question the leading player in the luxury leather goods sector in France; its brands together accounted for **.*% of sales in the sector in ****, up *.* points from **** (***). Hermès International is ...

3.3 Competition from alternative products

According to figures from the Conseil National du Cuir (***), handbags represent the leading item of invoicing for leather goods manufacturers in France, with **.*% of total sales in value. It is therefore a key sector among the activities of leather goods manufacturers. [***]

In the case of French leather goods, the players in ...

3.4 Distribution channels and e-commerce in vogue

Internet sales of leather goods are accelerating at a rapid pace. According to figures published by Intracen in **** and summarized in the chart below, they would represent **.*% of total sales in France in **** compared to only *.*% in ****. Nevertheless, the main distribution channel remains the brand stores. Each major leather goods brand ...


4.1 The different products sold by the leather goods manufacturers

Production and billings of leather goods mainly include, in value, the sale of handbags, which accounted for **.*% of total products sold in France in ****. [***] Moreover, it is the best-selling product in volume, with more than ** million pieces produced that year, representing an average price of a leather handbag of €***.* excluding ...

4.2 The use of subcontracting for certain brands

Some brands make extensive use of subcontracting. Vuitton in particular makes extensive use of subcontracting, according to the brand's industrial management: subcontracting represents between ** and **% of the brand's total leather goods production. [***] Similarly, Maroquinerie Pierre Cotte makes **% of its sales with Hermès.

These relationships can lead to tense relations between ...

4.3 The production of leather goods

In this section, we broaden the scope of the study, and focus not only on luxury leather goods, but leather goods in general and more specifically on items manufactured in France (***). Billing for leather goods manufactured in France by an establishment or one of its subcontractors amounted to approximately €*.* billion in ...

4.4 Trend example: the rise of the Specific brand

In early ****, the Specific brand was launched by Geraldine Cohen and Julie Benhammo, specializing in small leather goods "adapted to contemporary mobility". [***]

The brand sells passport covers, different products around the phone, computer cases, card holders...  "Each reference is sold in a packaging that looks like a metallic cooler bag in ...


5.1 Standards specific to the leather industry

The decree of November **, **** on the modification of the nomenclature of classified facilities (***) moves tanneries and shredders from an authorization to register regime to a declaration regime.

The decree n°****-** of January *, **** imposes mandatory labeling for the sale or distribution free of charge. It also specifies that "The use of ...

5.2 Opening of shops on Sundays

The possibility given to retailers to open their stores on Sundays is undeniably an asset for distributors of luxury leather goods.

The law provides that :

A business without employees may open on Sundays without prior authorization, unless a prefectural order prohibits it. It is possible to open a business on Sundays ...

5.3 Regulations that protect artisans

A protective label

On May **, ****, the decree establishing the "Living Heritage Companies" label, which promotes the development of companies with "an economic heritage, composed in particular of rare or ancestral know-how, based on the mastery of traditional or highly technical techniques and limited to a territory".

The Decree n°******* of May ...


6.1 Segmentation of actors

The following segmentation of market players is used:

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Reviews (1)

Reviews (1)

The leather goods market - France

Publicado en 02/07/2021 by Denis Monnoyeur

Many relevant figures Impact of Covid accurately quantified Interesting information on subcontractors that could be developed

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Denis, Thank you for your feedback. We are happy to read that the content of the study has fully met your expectations. :)

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