Lifestyle changes driven by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated polarisation in consumer spending with this trend being particularly apparent in bags and luggage given the discretionary nature of these products. During 2021, consumers were showing a tendency to either select luxury brands or be extremely frugal by not buying any bags or luggage at all, which negatively affected the performance of brands with a mid-range positioning.
The top three leading players accounted for a combined quarter of the overall category in 2020 with Louis Vuitton Korea Ltd, Chanel Korea Co Ltd, and Hermes Ltd all strengthening their shares. Rising retail prices of luxury items and economic uncertainty led consumers to invest in timeless items with enduring appeal and which remain in style for many years instead of chasing after fast-moving trends.
In bags and luggage, unique designs are becoming popular among mass brands as consumers seeking to alleviate the boredom of prolonged home seclusion and social distancing measures are seeking out items with a bit of colour. In line with this trend, Samsonite launched a fashionable luggage line that looks like a gift box.
It is likely that most people will be able to resume their normal lives from 2022 onwards as the South Korean government is determined to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all those who qualify in the population by Q3 2021. As overseas travel is expected to resume in 2022, consumers will opt to save money to pay for big ticket items for foreign travel, which often involves shopping for luxury items.
The shift to online necessitated by the pandemic is expected to continue in 2022 as many consumers regardless of generation formed the habit of shopping online in 2020 and 2021. A convenient shopping process, fast delivery, and online-exclusive promotions will help sustain the strong growth of e-commerce for bags and luggage.
Leading apparel manufacturers experienced a steep decrease in sales in 2020 as social activities slowed down in tandem with rising number of COVID-19 cases. In order to diversify their product portfolios, they began expanding their product offerings in 2021 to accessories and footwear as consumer demand for non-apparel products such as bags and fashion sneakers remained steady.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Bags and Luggage industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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This report originates from Passport, our Bags and Luggage research and analysis database.
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