The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in significant sales declines for bags and luggage retailers and brands, which can be attributed to the discretionary nature of the fashion and accessories industries. Many brands and retailers have been negatively impacted by store closures and travel restrictions due to quarantine measures as well as the decline in consumer spending.
Luxury handbags was being very negatively affected in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced retailers to close their stores and caused tourism to come to an abrupt and damaging halt for luxury brands and retailers. Luxury handbags benefited in 2019 from the increasing polarisation of bags and luggage, which continued to push consumers towards higher-priced, higher-quality, exclusive goods, squeezing the sales share of mid-range brands.
Backpacks was one of the fastest-growing categories in personal accessories in the UK in 2019 and the category that declined the least in 2020, due to increasingly hectic lifestyles, the growing interest in fitness and the proliferation of more flexible working arrangements. Herschel Supply Company and other urban, outdoor brands such as Sandqvist and Fjällräven continued to see strong growth in 2019.
As social media use becomes more ubiquitous, particularly for younger demographics, trend-driven consumers are buying bags as statement accessory items to keep up with the latest style developments on their feeds. However, keeping up with social media trends has meant that handbags are no longer “must-have” purchases for the majority of consumers, who might now instead prefer to invest in a pair of trainers from an exclusive collection.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Bags and Luggage industry in United Kingdom 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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