Bags and luggage has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis over 2020 and 2021. From the middle of March to May 2020, during part of autumn 2020, and then again in April 2021 all mainstream outlets in the category were closed, including department stores and specialist stores, which were deemed non-essential.
Leather goods and luggage have both experienced dramatic declines as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Travel restrictions have had a severe impact on both categories.
Louis Vuitton Malletier SA remained the largest player in bags and luggage in 2020. The company benefits from the popularity of personalisation in bags and luggage.
With the COVID-19 crisis set to have an enduring economic impact and a profound effect on consumer attitudes and lifestyles, the bags and luggage category is expected to see a trend towards greater utility rather than an emphasis on status and prestige in the short term. The category is expected to see significant growth in 2022 with the rebound of medium and long haul flights boosting demand for large luggage and the revival of package holidays and city breaks generating sales of small luggage suitable for aircraft cabins, while backpacks and other bags for cyclists are set to continue to grow strongly as consumers look to maintain healthy, outdoor-orientated lifestyles avoiding pollution and, in light of the pandemic, public transport.
While the return of Chinese tourists will be an important factor in the recovery of high-end bags and luggage, there is some caution within the industry. Whereas 5-10 years ago, Chinese consumers were buying French luxury goods such as handbags in Paris, Chinese millennials are increasingly purchasing them in their own country.
The rise in consumer environmental-consciousness and demand for greater sustainability represent both a threat and an opportunity for bags and luggage players. On the one hand, it provides potential for product innovation focusing on the use of eco-friendly and sustainable materials, such as suitcases using 100% recycled plastic from Samsonite France and Delsey France.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bags and Luggage research and analysis database.
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