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Published
Feb 19, 2016
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Report shows 1 in 4 Brits now prefer a smaller handbag

Published
Feb 19, 2016

The British market for handbags appears to be slowing, with sales of these items rising in 2015 by 5%, compared to 9% in 2014. But despite the fall in growth rate, the market still accounted for £1.34 billion in 2015, against £1.27 billion in the previous year.


Shoppers now prefer smaller handbags, such as cross-body bags or clutches - Mulberry


According to a new research report by Mintel, the market slowdown responds to British shopper’s love for bargains, and a new trend: smaller handbags. 29% of those who bought a bag in the past 12 months preferred grab bags or clutches, said the London-based firm, which are usually lower priced.

And whilst more than half of women (51%) bought a handbag in the past year, 74% said that they typically go for bags that are on sale or special offer.

"While Brits still love their handbags, a love of bargains means the market is slowing. Value sales of handbags slowed in 2015 compared with the previous year as the market became more promotional with retailers and brands selling them at a discount,” said Tamara Sender, Senior Fashion Analyst at Mintel.

Handbags or bags for men were the most popular fashion accessory in the UK, followed by belts and scarves. Mintel estimated that the fashion accessories market grew by 3.4% in 2015 to reach £2.7 billion.

Younger Brits were found to be most likely to purchase a designer bag, with 35% of shoppers aged 18-24 agreeing that it is worth investing in a high-end label. 39% of women aged 16-24 said they typically buy bags at full price, while 20% of men the same age bought items from a designer store or brand in the past year.

Additionally, shoppers said they would like to see more designer collaborations and technological capabilities. 42% of female buyers said it’d be interested in an item that incorporates the latest technology, rising to 47% of men. Meanwhile, 41% of fashion accessory shoppers would like to more designer collaborations for handbags.

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