Circana: "In the U.S., young women are buying fewer handbags and more backpacks."




Young women in the United States are buying fewer and fewer handbags than older women. This was revealed by the Ombnibus survey by Circana, a company formed by the merger of IRI (Information Resources Inc) and The NPD Group, which measures the performance of millions of products, in more than 500,000 stores and in 20 countries. The survey looked at a slice of the market, that of handbags, which is worth $8.8 billion in the United States and seems to be facing a generational 'shift' at the moment: more than 60 percent of women over 35 said they always carry a handbag with them for activities other than work or school, a percentage that in the segment of women aged 18 to 34 drops to 39 percent.


According to the analysis, female consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 buy fewer handbags than those over 35. Among the youngest, between May 2022 and April 2023, unit sales declined by 2 percent from the previous year, while they grew by 7 percent among female consumers aged 35 and older. "Millennials and Generation Z are looking for both functionality and fashion," is the comment of Beth Goldstein, footwear and accessories analyst at Circana, "They are therefore looking for products that offer practicality. Versatile, hands-free designs, including backpacks and fanny packs, have proven to be very desirable." In fact, despite the overall decline in the handbag sector, for the 18-34 age group, sales of fanny packs (up 56 percent) and dailywear backpacks (up 7 percent) have grown.


But where are handbags purchased in the US? Data indicate that younger consumers prefer specialty retailers. "While department stores and e-commerce remain the main channels, younger consumers are gravitating toward specialty stores that offer novelty and innovation, particularly in line with the importance of athleisure," Goldstein explains. "Understanding the differences in acquisition behaviors and modes and leveraging generational differences could be a key driver for both brands and retailers.


Read the other news of July 2023