Last weekend, my visiting mother-in-law wanted to go to Pacific Mall, the largest Chinese mall in Canada that is open 365 days a year. It is set up like a Hong Kong shopping mall, with multiple tiny shops, street names such as “Hollywood Ave” and is a chaotic place in general. I haven’t been there in over a year as it is quite far from where I live.
Anyhow, over the last year, perhaps due to crackdown of police on too many illegal English dvds – the mall has changed from being a giant dvd store to a giant cell phone/tablet case store. There were over a dozen stores all carrying cases for any phone or tablet you can think of. The TIFF goddess wanted another leather case for her Iphone and was appalled to see many fake Bottega weave cases. It took a lot of my own restraint to not break down and buy a Hello Kitty case for my phone, everything looked adorable! In the end I ordered an “official” Samsung case online as it looked more grownup than the Hello Kitty or Totoro case I had been considering…I have to remember that I’m an old woman, professional, etc…
This got me wondering about how much this market is worth. Research firm ABI claims that in 2012, the market for cell phone accessories are worth $36 billion USD with $20 billion USD attributed to smart phones. By 2017, smart phone accessories will grow to $38 billion USD in revenue, both other type of phone accessories will decline to $12 billion USD. The average smart phone consumer will spend $56.18 USD on accessories for their phone, while other phone owners will spend $28.17 USD.
So are the margins that great for all the thousands of plastic cases hanging around Pacific Mall? The margins range from 25%-50% according to online retailer Comeparts.com. Considering the Samsung case which I bought online for $8 with free shipping from China; at Pacific Mall it was about $25 – it was most likely worth $4 at wholesale. More stats are available on this page about mobile phone use and consumers, such as “By the end of 2013, there will be more mobile devices on Earth than people!”
Meanwhile in my random internet searches, I discovered that as consumers, women represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined—more than twice as big! Harvard Business review states that they control about $20 trillion in annual consumer spending globally, which could increase to$28 trillion USD in the next five years. This great article dissects women into different lifestyle categories and concludes that there are many categories for business to lure women, especially in financial services. Also, in Japan, the men don’t help their wives with chores. Looking at the categories of women, at moment I believe I’m in the fast tracker category, but of course, it looks like over time things could change. Just saying…because I’m a pessimist…so we should save our $$ ladies for the rainy days!
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