Hot-desking and smartphones drive backpack boom
Officeworks has reported a 25 per cent lift in backpack sales.
Bag makers are reporting a strong boost in sales of backpacks as office workers free up their hands to use devices such as mobile phones and laptops.
The popular outdoor accessory has also become an increasing part of the professional workplace uniform thanks to hot-desking.
Adam Wilkinson, chief executive at Crumpler, told Fairfax Media that smartphones are a key part of the 30 per cent growth in sales the company has seen from backpacks in the past year.
"The major influence in the popularity of backpacks is the ability [to be hands-free] to use your smart phone. The functionality [of a pack] is extremely important as laptops are a necessity of life," he said.
"A big trend towards a compact style of backpack. Commuters want to carry everything in a slimmer or more fashionable pack. It is just as functional but slightly more compact," he said.
Wilkinson believes hot-desking has also definitely impacted on Crumpler's products and customers. He says the flexibility of the workforce and the need for employees to carry laptops, chargers and paperwork to the office is a major driver of its backpack sales.
Officeworks' merchandise business manager technology Sandy Young told Fairfax the company is "seeing the fashion trend for backpacks definitely crossing over into the work world - with more slimline styles that combine fashionability along with the functionality of laptop and tablet storage pockets".
According to Young, Officeworks has enjoyed a 25 per cent lift in the past year in backpack sales with an average price of each backpack between $70 and $80.
"This is a trend that started slowly about 18 months ago and in the most recent six months has really taken off," he said.