America's Guilty Pleasures: Handbags Give Shoes a Run for Their Money

July 2, 2007

Chanel, Gucci, Chloe or Fendi? A celebrity just wouldn’t seem complete without their super-sized and often super-priced designer ” it”bag. New research from Mintel shows the US handbag market booming, as more and more American women scramble to get their hands on the latest must-have handbag. In fact, purse sales have increased by an incredible 22% since 2004, with the U.S. handbag market set to become a $6.4 billion market this year. And this high level of market growth shows no signs of abating, with a further 25% rise in sales forecast by 2011. “Purse shopping has grown from simple accessory buying to a guilty pleasure on par with shoe shopping,” comments Kat Fay, senior consumer analyst at Mintel. “Driven by the choices of their favorite celebrities, women look for their perfect ‘it’ bag, that satisfies both style and status, no matter what the cost. “

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