By  on June 30, 2008

There was barely any change in spending habits among U.S. accessories shoppers between this year and last, with the $31 billion category appearing to be almost immune to the vagaries of the economy. There was only a marginal 1 percent drop in the number of people who bought accessories in 2008 over 2007, and the biggest individual change in the category comes in a small spike — 3 percent — of consumers shopping over the Internet or through catalogues.

The reason, observers say, is simple: Accessories represent an easy way to update a look at prices from mass to high-end, and they are also an avenue for the aspirational shopper to reach higher and obtain a piece of a designer label.

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