Sales of smaller-sized handbags are on the rise, and smaller money accessories, like card cases and coin purses, are cashing in on the trend, according to The NPD Group. Dollar sales of money accessories—other than wallets—increased 13% to almost $23 million in the 12 months ending October 2016.
Despite overall declines in the women’s handbag category, small and mini-sized options were the largest sources of growth at the expense of larger-sized handbags. Combined, unit sales of small and mini-handbags increased 2%, compared to the prior year, and dollar sales increased 3%, NPD states. The growing popularity of smaller handbags has created a demand for smaller accessories to carry money and credit cards, while dollar sales of more traditional wallets declined.
“Consumers are realizing that they don’t need to carry everything with them at all times,” says Beth Goldstein, executive director and industry analyst, accessories and footwear, The NPD Group. “The desire to simplify and streamline is made easier with the prevalence of electronic payment and loyalty membership app options; consumers can consolidate most of those cards that used to fill their wallets onto their mobile phones.”
Growth in the South
Consumers may be leaning toward smaller sizes, but the amount spent on money accessories has grown, and both of these trends spanned the United States. Lower price points (less than $75) accounted for the majority of the category’s unit growth, but higher price points were among the fastest-growing segments this past year and represented more than half of money-accessory dollar gains.
In the southern region, which drove the largest dollar increases of all U.S. census regions, the $150-or-more and the $75-to-$100 price points were the fastest growing. The South was also the region in the United States that drove the most growth of small handbags. Combined, those two price points accounted for 42% of dollar growth in that region.
“Understanding where this developing trend in accessories is resonating most with consumers, and how those consumers are approaching the spend, is critical to year-round retail planning,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Small personal accessories are a natural fit as gifts, and the new emphasis on smaller sizes with lower price tags will increase the opportunity for self-gifting this holiday season, as well as filling stockings.”