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Fashion Accessories Market Overview

fashion accessoriesIt is a well-known fact that women adore fashion accessories. The handbag – to which we have devoted an entire sub-category at The Wholesaler, so vast and varied is the choice – is a particularly crucial item, it seems: in 2013, 51% of the UK female population – 13.5 million women – bought at least one handbag, and 43% of women bought a new bag for a special occasion.

Retailers will be well aware, however, that it is not really just women who love accessories and keep an eye on the latest fashions, however much men might insist otherwise. Nearly one in ten men in the UK bought a ‘manbag’ in 2013, and guys are actually more influenced than girls by fashion trends when buying such items: 23% of men claimed this was a purchasing incentive, as opposed to 13% of women. Overall, the fashion accessories market in the UK is booming, with Mintel estimating that British customers spent £2.5 billion in 2013.

In this category you will also find wholesalers of many other fashion accessories from Bandanas, Belts and Leather Goods to Hats, Scarves and Gloves and lots more, not forgetting the fast selling and hugely popular Loom Bands.

Like all markets for items that are not strictly necessary – the indispensable handbag excluded, of course – the UK fashion accessory market has felt the force of the recession, so retailers cannot be complacent. Consumers aged 25-34 are dominating purchases at the moment and this cohort are more price sensitive than ever, strongly influenced by new trends and show a preference for buying online. The growth potential in this area is huge, but retailers need to be attuned to what prompts customers to buy to tap into it.

The key, then, is to keep your finger on the industry’s pulse. Independent retailers will find useful information on market analysis, emerging trends, new suppliers, merchandising, up and coming trade shows etc. in trade magazines such as ‘Boutique’ and ‘Attire Accessories’. The Wholesaler also publishes details of forthcoming trade shows in its Dates For your Diary section. Look out, in particular, for the MODA shows held at the NEC twice a year in the Spring and Summer where you will find a huge choice of the latest trends in wholesale fashion accessories.

Important UK Dates (2018)

Valentines Day - Wednesday 14th Feb
Mothers Day - Sunday 11th Mar
Christmas Day - Tuesday 25th Dec

Trade Shows

  • Spring Fair NEC Birmingham
  • Top Drawer
  • Harrogate Home and Gift
  • Autumn Fair NEC Birmingham

Trade Associations

  • GA - The Giftware Association
  • BTAA - British Travelgoods and accessories

Trade Press

  • Attire Accessories
  • Boutique Magazine


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