Bags and Luggage in Western Europe

May 2022

Coronavirus (COVID-19) meant that Western European bags and luggage sales recorded a major decline in 2020. The closure of non-essential bricks-and-mortar stores and travel restrictions were among the main COVID-19-related problems for the industry in 2020, and which were also in place across the region in 2021 as well, limiting the recovery in this year. In spite of growth being expected throughout the forecast period, sales are not currently expected to return to 2019 levels before its end.

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Key findings

Amidst the lockdown, the scope of cross-border trade has been brought to light

The pandemic led to a significant decline in sales of spirits globally; however, Nordic spirits markets that operate under state-owned enterprises saw record growth in 2020. This can be attributed to sudden border closures, which potentially indicates unaccounted for consumption via cross-border trade within these countries.

Monopolies may not be effective in controlling consumers’ alcohol consumption

Government retail monopoly eliminates competition within a field, that would otherwise be inclined to boost the sales of products. Using various means such as controlling pricing, limiting selling hours and points of sale it can reduce consumption within the market. However, it does create an opportunity for increased sales through cross-border trade, that ultimately leads to lost tax flows.

The illicit market is not a significant issue in Nordic countries, due to high disposable incomes

While prices and distribution of alcohol are strictly regulated in selected Nordic markets, consumers are continually looking for a better deal elsewhere, which leads to a substantial proportion of sales being lost to cross-border trade. Consequently, high disposable incomes in the Nordic region compared to the rest of Europe create an environment where an alcohol monopoly system is only having an impact on “white” sales, although there is always the possibility of an illicit and counterfeit market emerging.

Extremely high taxation policies are proving to be counterproductive to desired outcome

Governments operating state-run alcohol monopoly should re-evaluate the strategy of extremely high taxation regimes, since they are proving counterproductive in the long run. While price is an effective deterrent to consumption, alternative channels of purchase ultimately mitigate the desired effect.


Key findings

Regional overview

Western Europe still the third biggest regional market
Slow recovery expected for Western Europe in 2021-2026
All countries record declining sales in 2020 due to COVID-19
Luggage sales decimated by border closures and travel restrictions
France loses the most sales over the 2016-2021 period
Bags and luggage in Western Europe loses a quarter of its sales in 2020
Bags and luggage specialist retailers remains the leading channel
…but e-commerce makes major gains during the pandemic

Leading companies and brands

Leading players gain share over 2015-2020
LVMH continues to lead bags and luggage in Western Europe
France the major revenue generator for the top three players
Pandemic hits luggage brands particularly hard

Forecast projections

Positive annual growth rates expected over 2021-2026…
…but no return to 2019 sales levels in the forecast period

Country snapshots

France: Market Context
France: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Germany: Market Context
Germany: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Italy: Market Context
Italy: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Netherlands: Market Context
Netherlands: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Spain: Market Context
Spain: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Sweden: Market Context
Sweden: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Switzerland: Market Context
Switzerland: Competitive and Retail Landscape
Turkey: Market Context
Turkey: Competitive and Retail Landscape
UK: Market Context
UK: Competitive and Retail Landscape


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