New Personal Accessories Research: What Does it Reveal?

Euromonitor International’s Personal Accessories 2013 system is now live on Passport, with the latest research revealing a disparate situation in regional and category performances. The global personal accessories market in 2012 is projected to grow by 7.5% in retail value terms. This performance, however, will be largely driven by Asia Pacific thanks to sustained growth in the emerging economies of China and India, while Western Europe as a whole is set to register negative sales growth.

Interesting findings

    • As the global economy continues to face uncertainty, the personal accessories market is projected to see a slowdown in value growth in 2012, pegged at 7%, six percentage points weaker than over the previous 12 months. It is, however, expected to grow by more than 30% over 2012-2017.
    • Handbags is the leading category, set to account for nearly 40% of global bag and luggage value sales in 2012 thanks to the large Chinese and US markets. The US, however, has been hit particularly hard by restrained consumer expenditure and low consumer confidence. Premium brands are major contributors to handbag sales, while global unit prices of duffel bags and backpacks are lower than those of wallets and coin pouches, with the latter witnessing consumers seeking some level of branding.
    • Owing to its high unit prices, jewellery is set to account for 60% of global personal accessories value sales in 2012. The gulf between real and costume jewellery is also evident from their unit prices, where on the back of recent sharp increments in precious metal commodity prices, real jewellery is priced at 26 times the average unit price of costume jewellery.
    • China, the US and Japan will remain the biggest spenders on watches in 2012. While quartz watches account for two-thirds of value sales, mechanical watches are witnessing stronger year-on-year sales growth. Banking on its timeless and classic image, Rolex continues to be the brand leader in mechanical watches while Swatch will maintain its position in quartz watches through a combination of a strong retail performance in the Chinese market as well as frequent product launches.
    • Within pens, ball point pens will dominate with a 60% share of global volume sales in 2012 thanks to their lower price point compared to roller ball and fountain pens. For instance, in the US, a user is seven times more likely to purchase a cheaper ball point pen than a roller pen, which costs twice as much.

Country and regional insights

  • Asia Pacific is the clear leader across personal accessories, responsible for at least one-third, if not more, of total value sales in all categories and set to register strong double-digit growth over the forecast period, as it did over the review period. Furthermore, China’s prominence in global jewellery sales can also be seen in terms of production, with three of the top 6 jewellery manufacturers in 2011 based in either China or Hong Kong.
  • The United Arab Emirates is set to be one of the fastest growing markets in volume terms for mechanical watches over the forecast period. In particular, consumers in the United Arab Emirates are very brand-conscious and hence its watch market is dominated by international brands and offers significant potential for luxury brands.
  • The emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China will account for 25% of colouring value sales in 2012, with this share expected to continue to grow to just shy of 30% by 2017.
  • Private label writing instruments in Canada are enjoying strong sales growth, including products from Staples and Wal-Mart. Cheaper than international brands and given the low brand loyalty in the category, these have been very successful in gaining prominence.
  • Western Europe, and in particular countries such as the UK, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania, France and Italy, continue to be impacted by the European financial crisis, and with a combination of high debt and slow economic recovery, retail value sales growth for personal accessories in this region is expected to be negative in 2012.

These findings and more are available on Passport: Personal Accessories.