Sales growth continued to slow down in personal accessories in 2019 as the stuttering South Korean economy, the rising cost of living and faltering consumer confidence conspired to diminish demand in all personal accessories categories. However, one bright spot was that spending on personal accessories, including notably the leading luxury brands, continued to increase despite the generally unfavourable scenario.
Two opposing consumer trends are highly evident in personal accessories. On the one hand, demand is slowly but surely shifting towards premium products and luxury brands, while on the other, low-priced unbranded products are becoming more popular.
International manufacturers continued to lead personal accessories in 2018, with nine of the top ten names in the industry belonging to a major international luxury goods player. Over the course of the year, Richemont overtook Louis Vuitton as the outright industry leader and this was due partially to Richemont’s Cartier brand gaining value sales, but mainly because Louis Vuitton is steadily losing share despite its iconic status.
Department stores has long been the preferred retail channel for South Koreans to acquire personal accessories and although the channel faces challenges maintaining its dominant position, the country’s leading department stores remain the primary destinations for the majority of South Korans intent on purchasing jewellery, watches bags and luggage. The main appeal of department stores is the often opulent and relaxing shopping experience that they offer, as well as the wide variety of products in stock and the personal attention that is on offer from well-trained and knowledgeable sales staff.
Although there were some signs towards the end of the review period that sales of personal accessories in South Korea are already on the wane due to economic pressures and changing lifestyle habits, sales growth is set to remain positive over the forecast period. In addition to buoyant demand among millennials and other younger consumer groups, the positive outlook for South Korea’s inbound tourism flows during the forecast period is expected to underpin growth in sales of personal accessories.
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Discover the latest market trends and uncover sources of future market growth for the Personal Accessories industry in South Korea with research from Euromonitor's team of in-country analysts.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our personal goods market research database.