Even though the latest Euromonitor International Industry Forecast statistics point towards a mere 4 per cent rise in global sales of personal accessories by the end of 2022, recovery to pre-pandemic value sales levels is around the corner the study indicates. Despite recent marginal slowdown thanks to the pandemic years, there is a strong pent-up growth for 2022 even against ongoing global political and economic instability and rising inflation.
Post Covid market sees gradual rise
The increases started during the last quarter of 2020 and beginning of 2021, when the personal accessories market in India, experienced a solid recovery in current sales value due to the pandemic subsiding and wedding and festive season taking off once more. Sales were hampered by the lack of mobility during the pandemic which impacted demand for bags, shoes and jewelry.
Euromonitor forecast for India states, the personal accessories segment due to their specific nature is projected to be among the last recovering industry after the pandemic. It is however expected that most products will only recover their pre-pandemic value sales in 2023 or 2024, although the apparel industry is back on track.
Weddings and global tourism hike up sales
The return of big and glitzy Indian weddings and other social functions along with the growing global tourism, have led to healthy overall sales of personal accessories in the luxury category. Euromonitor's latest data shows, the number of marriages taking place around the world fell 16 per cent in 2020 and again increased 4 per cent in 2021 and is expected to rise 6 per cent by end of 2022. The overall figures for marriages over the short to medium term remain stable as the pandemic subsides and new infections remain less deadly.
North and Latin America, Asia Pacific drive sales
A global new trend now is that wealthy customers are looking at luxury jewelry and timepieces as alternative assets and safe investments in times of financial crisis. Along with this, the concept of self-love and gifting oneself branded jewelry and watches among women with greater purchasing power is on the rise in North America, Europe and Asia.
Although China’s zero-Covid policy is pulling down sales in Asia and Europe is being affected by the Ukraine war, even then sales are increasing as people are now partying with a vengeance. Euromonitor points out that store-based retailing is the biggest distribution channel for personal accessories, accounting for over 80 per cent of all sales in 2022, as the look and remaining digital create a stronger customer base and omni-channel shopping experience.
Luxury brand accessories remain the most profitable
Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) is still increasing its lead over its closest competitors but Cie Financière Richemont is now ready to upset the usual rankings by registering the strongest growth, mainly driven by its iconic Cartier brand. Connected watches, driven by smart wearables, remain very popular. Their scale of impact can be seen from the newly-introduced timekeeping devices dataset like the Apple Watch which has emerged as the fifth largest global personal accessories brand this year with sales only marginally less than Rolex.
Now Samsung and Garmin have also jumped into the bandwagon of the top 20 industry brands of accessories. Most brands remain in the hope that the pent-up consumer demand and the need for being out and about will increase demand in the new breed of branded accessories segment.