11 October 2021

Fashion Accessories - What cross-body bags say about market recovery

Footwear and leathergoods analyst Beth Goldstein has said a return to nights out following covid restrictions has led to a faster-than-expected rebound for some handbags, specifically shoulder bags and cross-body bags, in the US. Writes Leatherbiz.



Ms Goldstein, who works for research firm NPD Group, said sales of shoulder bags in the six months to August 31, were up by 14% year on year, while sales of cross-body bags increased by 7%.


She said the increased popularity of these “hands-free silhouettes” suggested to her that women were buying them for nights out. She pointed out, over the same period, sales of tote bags were down by 1% year on year and sales of satchels by 5% and suggested this was indicative of a slower return to offices or to business events.


Overall, she said the situation in the handbag market was positive. She pointed out that there were fewer promotions and suggested this meant demand was strong.


“The women’s handbag market has rebounded more quickly than expected and regained most of the revenue lost in 2020,” she explained. “Consumers are treating themselves as they return to more of their normal pre-pandemic behaviours. They are willing to trade up because they have more money to spend, after staying at home for months on end.” 

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