At a time when sustainability and environmental responsibility are becoming increasing concerns for both governments and consumers alike, leather products remain popular on the global market, with some vendors making commitments to use only ethically produced materials. Leather is seen as a mark of both quality and status, and is frequently used in high-end products and luxury goods. And while many lower- and middle-class consumers may be decreasing their spending during the global pandemic, those with higher incomes are still in the market for luxury items despite potential increased costs and logistical challenges.
Indeed, the leather goods industry may even see a surge of retaliatory consumption (also called “revenge buying”) as stores gradually reopen around the world. After extended periods of restricted movement and limited purchases, some consumers will increase their spending on luxury goods and other non-essential purchases to make up for previous limitations. In South Korea, for example, luxury goods sales rose substantially during the first half of May as the country gradually lifted pandemic restrictions. Consumers are looking to make up for the weeks and months during which they couldn’t purchase these products, or couldn’t find them as cheaply as they normally would.
There is some debate over how big an impact retaliatory consumption will have, or even whether it is occurring at all in various industries and countries around the world. In many places, COVID-19 restrictions are being loosened only gradually, and many people are reluctant to return to previous offline shopping habits too early. However, for a multi-billion-dollar industry expected to grow by over $70 billion in a 5-year period, such challenges can be weathered, particularly when so many products are targeted at those with substantial disposable income.
A diverse group of manufacturers
The leather products industry is a fragmented one, with numerous players competing for their share of the market. While many leather goods manufacturers cater to the demand for high-end luxury products, others target middle-class consumers who are looking for good-quality products. Iconic fashion giants share the market with popular sportswear companies – though they generally target different segments of said market rather than compete directly. Take a look at who the current leaders are in the global leather goods market and what they have to offer.
A well-known producer of sports and athletics gear, adidas is a global company with over 59,000 employees and numerous manufacturing partners around the world. In 2019 adidas produced over 1 billion products and generated sales of more than €23 billion. The company’s leather products include a variety of men’s and women’s shoes, along with assorted accessories such as backpacks and phone cases. adidas is a member of the Leather Working Group and supports sustainable business practices in the leather industry, and declares that it does not use leather products from endangered species or animals that have been treated inhumanely.
Suggested reading: Top 10 Shoe Companies in the World
Capri Holdings Limited – formerly Michael Kors Holdings Limited – is a global luxury fashion group that manufactures a range of luxury products, including accessories, footwear, apparel, wearable technology, and fragrances. The group’s brands include Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Versace. Together, these companies have hundreds of stores and partners around the world. Their leather goods include footwear, wallets, bags, belts, and more.
Hermès is an independent French company that produces luxury clothing and accessories. Founded in 1837, the business now employs over 15,000 people, with its own chain of boutiques and products that are sold in more than 300 stores around the world. Hermès offers numerous leather products, including belts, bags, bracelets, shoes, wallets, and more.
Global luxury group Kering was created in 1963 and manages brands in the fashion, leather goods, jewelry, and watches industries. Its companies include Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, and many more. Across its fashion brands, Kerring offers leather products such as apparel, footwear, accessories, and bags.
Founded in 1987, LVMH is a luxury goods group with 75 different houses covering the wines and spirits, fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewelry, and selective retailing industries. Collectively these companies employed 163,000 people and generated €53.7 billion in revenue in 2019. The group includes 17 fashion and leather goods brands, including Louis Vuitton, Loro Piana, Loewe, Céline, Givenchy, Berluti, and Kenzo.
Athletic products manufacturer Nike was founded in 1972 and operates in countries around the world. The company designs, markets, and distributes footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories under its Nike, Converse, and Jordan brands. Converse offers a wide range of leather and suede shoes, while the Nike brand also includes a few leather shoe styles for men and women.
The first Prada store was opened in 1913 in Milan, and the company has since grown into a group that manages not only the Prada brand but also Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, and Marchesi 1824. The group earned over €3.2 billion in revenue in 2019, with nearly 14,000 employees and 22 factories across 70 countries. Prada holds high standards when it comes to quality materials and suppliers, and requires them to adhere to its code of ethics. Prada Group offers numerous leather products such as jackets, bags, and briefcases.
Founded in 1988 by Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa, Richemont is a holding company for numerous luxury goods companies, offering high-end products such as jewelry, watches, accessories, and other luxury items. The company boasts over 20 different businesses with more than 2100 stores around the world, employing 30,000 people in over 30 countries. Its leather products include clothing, accessories, footwear, bags, and other products.
Suggested reading: News Roundup: Global Watch Industry
New York-based Tapestry is a group that holds the luxury brands Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman. Its products include apparel, handbags, footwear, jewelry, accessories, and more. Founded in 2000, the company employees 21,000 people globally. Tapestry offers leather products such as jackets, bags, and accessories.
VF Corporation holds a portfolio of outdoor and activewear brands that includes The North Face, Dickies, Timberland, and Vans. Its products include apparel, footwear, and accessories from companies with a focus on social and environmental responsibility. VF was founded in 1899 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with over 50,000 workers worldwide.
Discover more about the global leather goods industry with Technavio’s market research report, including insights such as:
- CAGR of the market during the forecast period 2019-2023
- Detailed information on factors that will accelerate the growth of the market during the next four years
- Precise estimation of the global leather goods market size and its contribution to the parent market
- Accurate predictions on upcoming trends and changes in consumer behavior
- The growth of the leather goods industry across the APAC, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America
- A thorough analysis of the market’s competitive landscape and detailed information on leather goods manufacturers
- Comprehensive details of factors that will challenge the growth of leather goods market companies