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Iconic British women are never pictured without one on their arm….no not a handsome young beau, but in fact a handbag, the ultimate, must-have accessory. Latest research from MINTEL finds British women getting carried away by their love of handbags as sales grew by a massive 146% between 2000 and 2005 to reach £350 million. Today, designer handbags remain in demand and prices up to £1,000 for these much sought-after products are not uncommon. But the strength of the handbags sector is being drawn from the success of high street stores, which have shown that their mass-produced lines can compete with designer bags. The great influx of cheaper imports and own label handbags entering the market have encouraged British women to have an ever increasing number of handbags in their wardrobes. Price tag clearly is important.