Global Handbag Market – Key Findings and Insights

The global handbag market revenue amounted to $90B in 2017, growing by 33% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Overall, handbag consumption continues to indicate a strong expansion. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2016, with an increase of 70% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the global handbag market reached its peak figure level in 2017, and is likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Handbags constitute day-to-day consumer goods, especially preferred by women: they use it not only as a functional bag, but also and more likely, as an element of personal style. Consumption of handbags does depend on income level and consumer preferences; however, there are both cheap and expensive brands available, and almost every woman starting from a middle-income social group can afford using a handbag.

Design and colors are closely connected with the trend in the fashion industry and particularly the trend made by popular companies such as Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, and Prada. Some of the modern trends in handbag design include handbags made out of tweeds and wool that imitate clothing, use of unusual materials like canvas, emphasis on delicacy in details, leather bowling bags, handbags made of faux fur, vintage design with beading, and embellishments. As handbags become accessories to fashion their life cycles have lessened, and new items are designed all year round.

In 2017, the amount of handbags consumed worldwide stood at 3.7B units (IndexBox estimate), approximately mirroring the previous year. The total consumption volume increased an average annual rate of +2.2% over the period from 2007 to 2017; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2016, with an increase of 53% y-o-y. In that year, the global handbag consumption attained their peak volume of 3.7B units, leveling off in the following year.

Japan, the U.S., Italy, Canada and the UK Constitute As The Most Promising Foreign Markets

In 2017, the U.S. (215M units), followed by China, Hong Kong SAR (121M units), the UK (99M units), Italy (94M units), Spain (92M units), Germany (75M units), and India (74M units) were the main importers of handbags, together making up 48% of total imports. Mexico (62M units), Brazil (56M units), the Netherlands (45M units), and South Africa (42M units) followed a long way behind the leaders.

Germany, India, Brazil, the Netherlands and South Africa emerged as the largest and fastest growing importers of handbag worldwide, while Japan, the U.S., Italy, Canada and the UK feature high and rising import prices; those countries, therefore, constitute the most promising markets for foreign exporters.

Asia to Drive the Growth of Global Handbag Consumption

China (1.6B units) constituted the country with the largest volume of handbag consumption, accounting for 42% of total consumption. Moreover, handbag consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the world’s second largest consumer, the U.S. (213M units), sevenfold. Mexico (170M units) ranked third in terms of total consumption with a 4.6% share. In China, handbag consumption expanded at an average annual rate of +19.6% over the period from 2007-2017. In the other countries, the average annual rates were as follows: the U.S. (-5.4% per year) and Mexico (+10.7% per year).

Since handbags are already a popular product in the developed countries of the West, no prerequisites for a sharp growth in consumption are currently forecast. Therefore, population growth remains a key development driver here, combined with increases in disposable income, which in turn will contribute to enhanced consumer spending. Another impetus is to come from increasing influx of migrants, who may possibly consume more handbags, trying adapt to local women’s’ lifestyles.

It should, therefore, be expected that the developed European economies, as well as the USA and Canada, would buoy overall stability on the global handbag market and to some extent, contribute to the overall market growth. On the other hand, a key impetus for further global market growth currently comes from the rapidly developing Asian countries. Per capita consumption of handbags in Asia remains tangibly lower than in the USA and Europe, which indicates weak market saturation and a simultaneous robust potential for growth.

Because of the rapid urbanization process and the increasing popularity of Western lifestyle in Asia, the urban middle-income and high-income classes, who can be considered as key consumer groups for handbags, are growing rapidly in the emerging markets. Moreover, increasing incomes has allowed general health awareness by customers in Asian countries regarding fashion and brand prestige to increase. All this will determine the future of the handbags market across South-Eastern Asia and will remain a major driver of the growth of the global handbags market. China will continue to lead the globe in terms of market growth, given a large and growing population, increasing consumer incomes and strong bag producing industry.

Driven by increasing demand for handbag worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next eight year period. Market perfomance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +2.9% for the eight-year period from 2017 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 4.7B units by the end of 2025.