In 2015 the government passed a law for all large shops in the UK to charge a £0.05 fee for plastic carrier bags. The law extends to stores with over 250 employees. This accounts for most supermarkets but also some high street of out-of-town stores. This environment-driven move can also be adopted by smaller stores on a voluntary basis, as has been done by certain stores, such as H&M, which wishes to engage with the environmental movement. This change is prominent in the bag industry as a whole as it both raises awareness of the wider environmental issue of bags but also promotes the use of reusable bags for everyday shopping and supermarket purchases. This provides an opportunity for certain brands to create shopping-friendly bags and has been a strong driver in the demand for functionality in bags.
The bags and luggage landscape remains highly fragmented with many brands fighting for a share of the market. Louis Vuitton is the leading company in the UK for overall bags and luggage with an 8% share and total sales of £237 million. The company remains a traditional luxury brand and there is a high status attached to its recognisable bags and luggage, which appeals to both domestic luxury consumers and wealthy tourists visiting the UK. In 2016 the brand announced it would collaborate with Selena Gomez, an American singer and actress, who featured in an advertising campaign for the new mini bags, representing a possible move to appeal to younger consumers of luxury bags.
Dynamism will continue to characterise bags and luggage over the forecast period, driven by similar factors that are evolving in 2016. In addition to traditional luxury handbag designers, such as Luis Vuitton or Chanel, other labels, as exemplified by Burberry, announced in spring 2016 that they would focus more closely on bags and accessories. Whilst competition may become fiercer amongst these high-end labels, the statement handbag as an aspirational status symbol will continue to be reinforced.