The Role of Purse Manufacturers in Fast Fashion
In addition to garments and accessories, fast fashion is penetrating the leather-goods industry, specifically for bags that can be produced within a fast lead time in a handbag factory. The concept of fast fashion in leather goods is attracting a new breed of thrifty yet impulsive consumers who are after “affordable luxury” bags. Zara, H&M, Uniqlo, and other global SME retailers who sell replica items are also mass-producing trendy handbags to meet the demand from their target market, which is made up of ‘‘the millennials’’—the teens and young adults who now live in a fast-paced digital culture.
According to IBISWorld’s Global Handbag & Purse Manufacturing report, women’s leather handbags and purses as well as bags made from other fabric materials share the largest product segment. This $101-billion industry is expected to grow fast in years to come, according to the report, as the global economy grows stronger and consumers become even smarter buyers of fashion.
Affordable Alternatives for Luxury Brands
Global retailers are taking advantage of low-cost sourcing of production from handbag factories in China, Bangladesh, India, and other key sourcing destinations in Asia in order to sell affordable luxury alternatives to consumers. Instead of buying a $10,000 branded item, consumers can find a quality imitation of that bag in retail shops that sells for only around $10 to $50 or a little more.
And in mass production of handbags there is often excess output called ‘overruns’, which are then sold at much lower prices by third-party retailers and suppliers compared to the price of the original item as sold in boutiques.
Quick Production Turnover
Fast fashion is an emerging trend in the manufacturing industry that is reshaping global companies’ production practices and reducing the production lead-time. Every two weeks, Zara can display new apparel ranges in their global stores while consumers enjoy the best deals.
With handbags, although the lead-time could be around four to six weeks or even longer, companies can sell custom leather goods by sending the designs to purse manufacturers and then ordering thousands of pieces, which they can receive within a very short time because they are processed using specialized machines and equipment. In a nutshell, the purse factory is all about speed and quantity—two hallmarks of the fast fashion concept.
Increase in Profit Margins for Retailers
Fast-fashion companies sell an enormous quantity of handbags in thousands of retail stores worldwide. But how do they make a profit from these cheap garments and leather goods? Because they are sold in large quantities—the more handbags are sold, even at the best markdown prices, the greater the increase in profit margin due to economies of scale. The low prices still yield a profit because of the low cost of labor in the manufacturing countries.
The cost of a purse is determined by the quality of materials, production, facility costs, and skills of the workers. With fast fashion on the rise, even leather goods are now manufactured in mass production. There is no doubt that these brands enjoy an increase in profit margin, giving them a real opportunity to build a global retail empire.