There was a time not so long ago, during the heyday of the so-called “It” bag, when a handbag was the unrivaled star of a woman’s outfit. But those days look to have passed. The handbag, it seems, is slipping from its once-exalted place in a woman’s wardrobe. In an Oct. 9 post, research firm NPD Group noted US sales of women’s handbags and totes were down more than 20% through August versus the same period in 2016. “This is clearly not a blip—it’s a major shift,” wrote Beth Goldstein, NPD’s industry analyst for accessories and footwear. The day before, investment firm Piper Jaffray released its latest semi-annual survey of US teens, which found that teen spending on handbags had fallen to the lowest point in the survey’s 18-year-history. Female teens said they’re spending an average of $90 a year on handbags, down from a peak of $197 in spring 2006. Unless the trend changes, these shoppers won’t be buying up handbags the way their predecessors did when they reach adulthood either. According to the analysts, there isn’t just one factor driving the decline. Rather, it appears to be a confluence of changes in shopper preferences and where they’re putting their money. Many are devo...