Money may not really grow on trees, but apparently, it grows on cows...and sheep.
As reported in today's New York Post, consumer appetites for leathers of all kind has increased at such a rate that demand is outpacing supply, leading to a price increase in raw materials.
Expect this increase to be passed on down the line until the end...the suckers, er...I mean, retail. Yup, just when people no longer faint from sticker shock while looking at designer bags, most already well over $1,000, they're going to get even more expensive.
The increased desire for luxury goods at any price which is at the heart of demand issues, is noted by Lew Frankfort of Coach who says that several years ago, the most expensive Coach bag was about $300, and now 13% of their overall sales are from bags priced over $400 (having browsed at Coach recently, most of the nicer bags are over $500).
Also quoted, is Tim Schifter of Le Sportsac, who doesn't really say anything interesting, but is notable as a contributor if only because Le sportsac relies on the skin of the "Nylon", not the cow for their bags.
But there is something you may be able to do...according to the article, the reason for the lower supply of leather is that there is a decrease in consumption of meat, and that animals are not slaughtered for skins alone (interesting, since I had always been under the carnivorously naive impression that there were animals raised for meat, with poor quality skin which was sold for low cost merchandise, and animals raised for their skin, with the meat being sold for animal feed, and maybe hot dogs or something). So skip the salad at lunch today and order a burger! Don't chew gum at your desk...snack on beef jerky! Eat a steak, and keep down the cost of good bags for everyone!