The US personal accessories market is expecting retails sales to see solid growth in constant value terms over the next five years, as an improving economy, with higher employment levels, is expected to contribute to stronger demand, although uncertainties will still exist with regards to the strength of the economic recovery, the housing market and high level of consumer debt.
Personal accessories sales have so far showed good value growth in 2012, as the US economy continued its recovery. Higher income consumers who have been less affected by the recession felt comfortable spending on luxury watches and handbags, leading to stronger growth than the past five years.
However, value growth has been lower in 2012 than 2011, when consumers released their pent up demand to go shopping. After treating themselves to new accessories in 2011, Americans felt less of a need to purchase more items in 2012.
As the purchasing power of Generation Y shoppers grows, operators will develop product lines to cater to this demographic. However, competition from department stores and online retailers will pose a threat to the industry, as consumers flock to these outlets for their lower prices and convenience.
Celebrities are playing an increasingly significant role in the US personal accessories market. In addition to acting as spokespersons, as golfer Tiger Woods does for Rolex, celebrities are now partnering with companies to design accessories collections. The Camuto group has teamed up with Jessica Simpson to help the actress and singer develop the popular Jessica Simpson Collection line of handbags, costume jewellery, apparel and shoes.
The US personal accessories market is highly competitive and is led by domestic manufacturers and retailers. Coach Inc has been able to achieve the top spot through the affordable luxury positioning of its handbags and the expansion of its boutiques.
While Coach continues to be one of the best recognised accessories brands in North America, its long-term strategic plan is to increase international distribution and target international consumers, with an emphasis on the Asian consumer.
The triumvirate of Sterling Jewellers Inc Zale Corp and Tiffany & Co lead real jewellery retailing. In the luxury arena, LVMH is the leading non-American company in personal accessories.
For more information on the US personal accessories market, see the latest research: US Personal Accessories Market
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