Consumer Research: Expensive Totes

Goyard tote //

During my two years of living in New York City, I have quickly learned what a Goyard tote bag was. Before then, I had never heard of the expensive French brand or its luggage, but I knew of Louis Vuitton’s totes, which are also favorited by New Yorkers. Once I learned that these bags go for over $1K, I wondered exactly why women in New York chose to carry such high-priced totes.

A woman by NYU carrying her Louis Vuitton tote.

I conducted a survey, with over 20 responses, to collect consumer research. I also asked people on the street why they carry their LV or Goyard totes.

45% of the people I collected data from, use a tote bag everyday. I use mine 5 days during the week, so mine has some wear to it.

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23% of them currently own or have previously owned a Louis Vuitton or Goyard tote, but only 5% of the 22 people asked would spend over $1000 to purchase one. So if they’re not buying these bags themselves, are they gifts or being purchased on sale?

Four out of the five women I asked about their expensive totes, noted that they hadn’t purchased the bags themselves. They were mostly gifts from parents. They used their bags regularly (at work, in class, while traveling), and weren’t worried about any wear that the bag may endure.

59% of the people asked said that they see LV and Goyard totes in NYC all the time. Who are these women carrying expensive bags? I have a classmate in my Typography & Design class, who carries her white Goyard tote to class. She, like 64% of my survey takers, agreed that people want these totes because of the brand more than because they want a high quality bag.

Like me, 41% of the survey takers, have only seen Louis Vuitton totes outside of New York City and have not seen Goyard totes anywhere else. Besides Louis Vuitton and Goyard, people have seen Givenchy and Valentino totes on the city streets.

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Consistent with my personal findings in New York, 68% of people think the average owner of a LV or Goyard tote is 25-50 years old.

These women holding small fortunes on their arms, carry expensive bags for the brand notoriety. Some aren’t purchasing $1K+ bags for themselves but are being given them. Louis Vuitton and Goyard are the most popular makers of high-end totes, and both offer monograming.

Other brands are also capitalizing on the popularity of tote bags. Longchamp offers totes for less than $200 and are often seen in Manhattan. While most women would accept a LV or Goyard tote as a gift (86%), it seems the more economic choice would be a Longchamp bag for heavy usage.

A woman on her way to work uptown, carrying her Longchamp bag.

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