Women’s luxury bags and small leather goods recorded robust growth in a competitive market in 2018. It benefited from the rising awareness and availability of luxury brands and the popularity of new product launches, such as Chanel’s popular Gabrielle handbag line.
Canada’s diverse, multicultural population, especially in the luxury centres of Toronto and Vancouver, creates a diverse market for luxury leather goods, especially handbags. Although luxury leather goods in Canada features a wide range of brands and strong competition, the most sought-after brands remain well-known luxury brands with long pedigrees, heritage, craftsmanship and classic designs.
Personalisation is an ongoing trend in luxury goods, as consumers look for ways to express their individuality and as technology evolves to allow the convenient personalisation of products. Luxury leather goods operators promote personalisation as way for their brands to engage with customers and better serve their individual preferences.
In 2017, Michael Kors Holdings continued to lead luxury leather goods, although it only saw slow growth, after a strong decline in 2016. In recent years, Michael Kors’ sales declined because of decreasing traffic in shopping centres, fierce competition in the company’s core handbags category, and a pricing strategy reliant on promotional discounting.
Gucci, owned by French luxury group Kering, continued its strong sales growth in 2017, recording an impressive performance with a double-digit increase. Gucci has experienced tremendous success in attracting millennial and aspirational consumers in Canada, along with wealthy tourists.
Although internet retailing is expected to continue to see the fastest growth over the forecast period, growth will be hampered by the fact that a considerable share of sales is driven by international tourism. In addition, luxury customers still value the experience of shopping in a physical store, wanting to see and feel different materials before spending on high-priced items.
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