Personal accessories saw ongoing value growth in Japan in 2019. Value rose despite falling volumes due to a declining population, the growing prevalence of rental and sharing services in categories such as bags and luggage, and watches, and the appropriation of products’ functions by computers, tablets and smartphones.
This is a key period for the Japanese personal accessories market, as it undergoes a process of adaptation to a range of rapidly evolving circumstances. The emergence of computers and smartphones has undermined the functional role of products such as watches and writing instruments, leading manufacturers to reposition products in terms of their symbolic value or to move into the area of hybrid products and the Internet of Things.
Louis Vuitton Japan KK overtook Richemont Japan Ltd to become the largest player in personal accessories in 2018, as it benefited from strong demand for handbags amongst both local consumers, as more women entered the paid workforce, and the rising number of inbound tourists. Multinational luxury players continued to dominate the Japanese personal accessories market towards the end of the review period, supported by the fact that Japan has become a popular shopping location for inbound tourists seeking to purchase authentic luxury goods, as well as the greater independent purchasing power of Japanese women.
While store-based retailing remained dominant across personal accessories in Japan in 2019, internet retailing continued to gain share in all categories, as consumers appreciated the convenience, competitive pricing, broad product range and improving delivery options offered by e-commerce. However, the influence of internet retailing went significantly further than simply taking sales away from physical stores.
The Japanese personal accessories market is expected to see ongoing growth over 2019-2024. Demand is set to be significantly bolstered by the growing number of inbound tourists, driven by government efforts to boost the tourist industry and Japan’s hosting of major international events, including the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our personal goods market research database.