Handbag sales rise as social activities continue

Consumers are returning to town and embellishing their take-out accessories in kind. Sales of women’s bags and small personal accessories in the United States are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, according to retail tracking data from The NPD Group, which showed revenue from March to August 2021 were only down 2%, compared to that. of 2019. A report by NPD said that hands-free styles, such as shoulder and cross-body bags, “outperform the market” because they are strongly associated with outings on the town and other social activities. In that same report, desk-focused options like bags and satchels would struggle.

“Consumers are self-treating as they return to more of their normal pre-pandemic behaviors.” – Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst

“The women’s handbag market rebounded faster than expected and recouped most of the lost revenue in 2020,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at NPD. “Consumers are self-treating as they return to more of their normal pre-pandemic behaviors. They are also ready to trade because they have more money to spend, after staying at home for months.

According to The NPD Group, retail revenue for crossbody bags increased 14% and crossbody bags increased 7% in the six months ending August 2021, compared to 2019 before the pandemic. Although they represent smaller revenue-generating categories in the overall accessories market, sales of clutches increased by 2% and cosmetic bags by 48%, while satchels fell by 5% and bags from 1 %. Handbag sales revenue rebounded faster than unit sales, largely due to the increase in the average selling price in 2021.

“The handbag market was already in decline in 2019 before the pandemic as the retail environment became heavily promotional,” Goldstein said. “Some brands had fallen out of favor and consumers were favoring other categories, like athleisure and tech. Fast forward to today and we’re seeing fewer promotions, thanks to growing demand coupled with tight inventory. Rising manufacturers’ selling prices, caused by rising material and labor costs, completed the list of factors contributing to the improved revenue of the handbags and personal accessories market .

Joel C. Hicks