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Handbags - UK - January 2015

“There is real growth potential for the men’s accessories market as younger generations of men have become accustomed to using manbags, with 20% of 18-24s carrying one with them most of the time.”
– Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst

This report answers the following key questions:

  • How has the handbag market performed over the last year?
  • Which retailers and brands stand out in the sector?
  • How can the sector drive sales of handbags?

Handbags remain the most desirable fashion accessory, with six in 10 women having purchased at least one new bag in the last 12 months, consequently the market has continued to see solid growth in 2014. Value sales, however, have slowed compared with the previous year, with the market growing by 9.3% in 2014 to almost £1.3 billion.

The market has become more promotional, with a third of consumers waiting for sales/special offers to buy the handbags they want. Handbags still remain a lucrative product, with 50% of female shoppers having purchased a bag as a treat for themselves and a third seeing a handbag as a good gift.

The handbag market remains very fragmented, with consumers buying bags from a wide range of retailers and brands at very different price points. Women are favouring mid-priced handbags over high-end designer pieces, with more affordable designer brands such as Michael Kors and own-brands benefiting.

For the purposes of this report, the term handbags is used to define all types of handbags and manbags worn by women and men, including backpack-style handbags, but excluding rucksacks, luggage, laptop bags, purses and wallets.

Mintel’s consumer research for this report covers purchasing of different types of handbags and manbags, where consumers bought these, average spend on handbags, the most important factors when purchasing a new bag and female and male attitudes towards buying handbags and manbags.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Abbreviations
        • Executive Summary

            • The market
              • Figure 1: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of handbags, 2009-19
            • Market factors
              • Declining youth population will impact sales
                • Deflation in the price of fashion accessories
                  • Mobile device ownership affects pocket sizes
                    • Companies, brands and innovation
                      • Brand research
                        • Figure 2: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, December 2014
                      • The consumer
                        • Handbags most desirable fashion accessory
                          • Figure 3: Women’s quarterly spending habits on fashion items, December 2014
                        • Young women keenest handbag buyers
                          • Figure 4: Types of handbags/manbags purchased in the last 12 months, October 2014
                        • Average spend on a handbag is £76
                          • Figure 5: Average amount spent on the last handbag/manbag, by gender and age, October 2014
                        • A third buy handbags from value retailers
                          • Figure 6: Retailers from which handbags have been bought in-store or online in the last 12 months, October 2014
                        • Size is most important
                          • Figure 7: Most important factors when buying a handbag, ranked as 1, October 2014
                        • Half of women like to see before buying
                          • Figure 8: Attitudes towards shopping for handbags, October 2014
                        • 20% of young men use manbag all the time
                          • Figure 9: Attitudes towards buying handbags/manbags, October 2014
                        • What we think
                        • Issues and Insights

                            • How has the handbag market performed over the last year?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Which retailers and brands stand out in the sector?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • How can the sector drive sales of handbags?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • Trend Application

                                                • Trend: Make it Mine
                                                  • Trend: Many Mes
                                                    • Mintel Futures: Access Anything Anywhere
                                                    • The Market Environment

                                                      • Key points
                                                        • Market will feel impact of decline in 15-24s
                                                          • Figure 10: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2009-19
                                                        • Unemployment rate declining in the UK
                                                          • Figure 11: Unemployment rate in the UK, 2008-14
                                                        • Consumers spending less on personal items
                                                          • Figure 12: What extra money is spent on, 2013 and 2014
                                                        • Deflation in the price of accessories
                                                          • Figure 13: Consumer prices inflation: accessories and clothing, October 2013-October 2014
                                                        • Mobile device ownership affects pocket sizes
                                                        • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                          • Strengths
                                                            • Weaknesses
                                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Marketing and social media initiatives
                                                                  • Figure 14: Neiman Marcus’ Snap Find Shop app
                                                                • Department stores investing in accessories
                                                                  • Retailers expand into accessories
                                                                    • New launches
                                                                      • New store concepts
                                                                        • Wearable technology
                                                                          • Figure 15: The Marylebone Tech handbag, from Aspinal of London
                                                                        • Pop-up shops
                                                                          • Figure 16: Eastpak’s Shoreditch pop-up shop
                                                                        • Made in the UK
                                                                          • Expanding into manbags
                                                                          • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Handbag market grows 9% in 2014
                                                                                • Figure 17: Best- and worst-case forecast of UK value sales of handbags, 2009-19
                                                                              • Handbag sales to rise 52% by 2019
                                                                                • Figure 18: Value sales of handbags, at constant prices, 2009-19
                                                                              • Growth potential for manbag market
                                                                                • Factors used in the forecast
                                                                                • Companies and Products

                                                                                  • Mulberry
                                                                                    • Company overview
                                                                                      • Financials
                                                                                        • Figure 19: Key financials of Mulberry, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                      • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                                        • International
                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                            • Advertising and marketing
                                                                                              • Radley
                                                                                                • Company overview
                                                                                                  • Financials
                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Key financials for Radley & Co, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                  • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                                                    • International
                                                                                                      • Recent developments and marketing
                                                                                                        • Burberry
                                                                                                          • Company overview
                                                                                                            • Financials
                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Key financials of Burberry, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                            • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                                                              • International
                                                                                                                • Recent developments and marketing
                                                                                                                  • Michael Kors
                                                                                                                    • Company overview
                                                                                                                      • Financials
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Key financials of Michael Kors, 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                                      • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                                                                        • International
                                                                                                                          • Recent developments and marketing
                                                                                                                            • LVMH (Louis Vuitton)
                                                                                                                              • Company overview
                                                                                                                                • Financials
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 23: Key financials of LVMH, 2012 and 2013
                                                                                                                                • Retail offering and brand positioning
                                                                                                                                  • International
                                                                                                                                    • Recent developments and marketing
                                                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Advertising expenditure increases
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on handbags and leather goods, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                        • Designers dominate handbag adspend
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Main monitored media advertising expenditure on handbags and leather goods, by advertiser, 2010-14
                                                                                                                                        • Designer advertising campaigns
                                                                                                                                          • High street stores
                                                                                                                                          • Brand Research

                                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Attitudes towards and usage of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Correspondence analysis
                                                                                                                                                • Brand attitudes
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes, by brand, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Brand personality
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Brand personality – Macro image, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Brand personality – Micro image, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Brand experience
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Selected brand usage, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Satisfaction with selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Consideration of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Consumer perceptions of current brand performance, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                • Brand recommendation
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Recommendation of selected brands, December 2014
                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – What Fashion Items Extra Money is Spent On

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Handbags most desirable fashion accessory
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Women’s quarterly spending habits on fashion items, December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Handbag purchasing drops
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Quarterly spending habits on handbags, December 2013-December 2014
                                                                                                                                                  • Fall in purchasing levels among young
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – Types of Handbags Purchased

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                        • 60% of women bought a new handbag in the last year
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 37: Types of handbags/manbags purchased in the last 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                        • Young women keenest handbag buyers
                                                                                                                                                          • 10% of men bought a manbag
                                                                                                                                                            • A fifth of men bought a handbag as a gift item
                                                                                                                                                              • Medium handbags most popular
                                                                                                                                                                • Large bags favoured by under-35s
                                                                                                                                                                  • Youngest also favour small bags
                                                                                                                                                                    • Regional differences
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Amount Spent on Handbags

                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                        • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                                          • Average spend on a handbag is £76
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Average amount spent on the last handbag/manbag, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Under-35s are highest spenders
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Average amount spent on the last handbag/manbag, by gender and age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                          • Women tend to buy several bags per year
                                                                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Where Handbags are Bought

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Retailers from which handbags have been bought in-store or online in the last 12 months, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                • A third buy handbags from value retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Under-35s buy from clothing retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                    • High-end clothing retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Department store shoppers peak among 25-44s
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Retailers from which handbags have been bought in-store or online in the last 12 months, by age, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Specialists and designer brands draw affluent ABs
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Half buy online
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Profile of consumers who have purchased handbags/manbags from Amazon and eBay, by age group, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Under-35s buy from footwear retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Most Important Factors When Buying a Handbag

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Most important factors when buying a handbag, ranked as number 1, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Size is most important
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Handbag design
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fashionable bags
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Older women look for secure bags
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Young most brand-focused
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Single women want multipurpose bags
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – Women’s Attitudes towards Shopping for Handbags

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes towards shopping for handbags, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Half of women like to see before buying
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Over-45s treat themselves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gifting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • A third buy handbags on sale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Young least interested in leather
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Designer handbag buyers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Handbags for special occasions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Innovative bags
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Customisable bags
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Men’s Attitudes towards Buying Manbags/Handbags

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • What we asked
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Nearly 20% of young men use a manbag all the time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 45: Attitudes towards buying handbags/manbags, October 2014
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Men favour designer manbags
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Affluent look for leather manbags
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • One in eight under-35s gifted a manbag
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Under-25s keen on innovation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bank of England
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • BMW (GB) Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Burberry Group Plc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Inspecs Ltd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Mulberry Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Next Group
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Radley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Handbags - UK - January 2015

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