World Market for Personal Accessories

September 2021

Sales of personal accessories continue to fall, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lead to further disruption, national lockdowns, social distancing, store closures and travel restrictions, causing global demand to suffer. The discretionary nature of personal accessories caused this category to be particularly negatively impacted, as consumers focused on buying essentials in times of adversity. Consumers who continued to purchase accessories online accelerated the growth of e-commerce.

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Examining four trends shaping personal accessories

E-commerce and omnichannel become crucial for players

Historically dependent on the instore retailing channel of personal accessories, the industry will have to invest in an increasingly digitally orientated approach. While brands will need to invest in their e-commerce capabilities, developing complementary in-store digital tools alongside their e-commerce offerings will also prove essential.

Exceptional and purposeful products fare better during the pandemic

As many consumers felt isolation as a result of the pandemic, many have realised that they want to create a better world through their actions and purchase choices, and they want more meaningful possessions. Beyond sustainability initiatives, consumers will demand that brands offer unique, exceptional products with purpose.

Resale grows with conscious consumerism

Consumer attitudes are changing in the wake of the pandemic, coinciding with changes in the fashion cycle. The pandemic has accelerated a pre-existing critique of consumerism and led to changes in consumer attitudes with many embracing a “less is more” approach. It has highlighted the importance of sustainability in purchasing decisions, and the rise of circular business models, especially resale, which has continued to flourish.

Localised approach becomes necessary in key markets

The disruption of travel has meant that tourism in Western Europe and the US came to a halt, and sales were dealt a further blow by lockdowns and store closures, while Asian consumers shopped domestically. Brands and companies will need to employ a more localised, omnichannel approach to appeal to domestic consumers as the uncertainty and instability continues in 2021.


Key findings

Industry Snapshot

Personal accessories ranks seventh in consumer goods globally
COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely impact retail sales
Jewellery continues to lead in the majority of markets
Consumers invest in watches and jewellery as investment pieces
Asia Pacific leads with China driving sales
China predicted to recover fastest from the pandemic
Channel shifts and rise in online sales as new shopping habits stick
Brands redefine the direct-to-consumer business model

Leading Companies and Brands

Personal accessories remain highly fragmented
Competition remains high amongst the leading global players
Key players heavily dependent on the industry for revenue
Category exposure reveals corporate strength and weaknesses

Top Trends Shaping the Industry

Examining four trends shaping the personal accessories industry
Increasingly digital-reliant consumers…
E-commerce no longer a nice-to-have model for business survival
Companies will continue investing in new technology for survival
Burberry virtual store: Tokyo, Japan
Leveraging company capabilities and consumer awareness
Brand expand product offerings both within and across categories
Tiffany & Co introduces engagement rings for men
Brands move from wholesale channels towards D2C
Case study: Nordstrom-Asos joint venture
From sustainability to purpose: social issues surge with COVID-19
Companies explore new routes to achieve ESG goals
Case study: Twig launches the new circular “Bank of Things”

Future Outlook

Evolving consumer behaviour will continue to shape industry

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of bags and luggage
Global snapshot of jewellery
Global snapshot of watches
Global snapshot of writing instruments
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia




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