How to read the data on handbags (+19.5% during the first quarter)

How to read the data on handbags (+19.5% during the first quarter)

“The numbers don’t reflect those with their own brand, as they now face huge issues. Top brands continue to increase their market share and give work to manufacturers. The Italian leather goods segment moves at two different speeds, and that concerns us”. That’s the comment of Assopellettieri’s president Franco Gabbrielli, in relation to the exports results for the first quarter of 2022: +19.5% in value and +16.6% in volume. The performance shows value above pre-Covid ones. In the January-March period domestic consumption also performed well, but it remains 14.3% lower compared to three years ago. For the April-June period, it’s estimated that exports will continue to grow, but at a slower rate due to the conflict.

The markets

Handbags account for over 66% of foreign sales, in terms of value. The overall data shows that the top export market for Italy is Switzerland. The quota is worth about 25% of the total, but the revenue generated is 6.5% lower than the same period of 2021. According to Assopellettieri, it’s “misleading data, strongly influenced by different distribution strategies implemented by luxury brands, such as direct imports by selling countries”. There isn’t a real contraction of demand, it’s the conclusion. In second place, with about half the revenue of Switzerland, is France (+14.7) and third for Korea (+49.2%). The US is the fifth market, with a roaring +76.6%. The percentage increase is second only to that of the Emirates: +111.4%.

Internal market

Internally, the recovery continues to take place: +16.9% says ISTAT, with regards to retail sales. But the gap with pre-Covid performances remains (still -14.3% on January-March 2019). Other data tied to the demographics of businesses shows that, at the end of March, the number of active companies in the segment had decreased compared to December 2021, accounting industrial and artisanal companies.

Waiting for the Stati Generali

During the assembly held by Assopellettieri on July 21st, the association announced the third edition of its Stati Generali della Pelletteria Italiana. It will take place on October 18th in Florence, at the Salone del Cinquecento, inside Palazzo Vecchio. For the third edition, Assopellettieri choose The European House – Ambrosetti as its partner. Here 5 roundtables will take place, discussing the main topics decided by the scientific committee of the Stati Generali. The topics: communication, the chain’s transparency, digital transformation for sustainability, generational change, and education.

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