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Trend Alert: Tote-Mania Overtakes New York

Totes are suddenly an extremely hot, sought-after accessory being sported with increasing pride and ubiquity on the streets of New York City. That’s fantastic news not only for NYC-area distributors, but promo pros everywhere: The tote momentum in New York, setter and harbinger of trends that reverberate around the world, could help propel sales of branded totes throughout North America.

In a Monday article headlined “People Are Judging How Cool You Are By Your Tote Bag,” The New York Post gets in-depth on the tote craze overtaking Gotham. Writer Molly Shea reports:

“On the streets of New York, a canvas tote is the ultimate status symbol. Long a staple for students and lunch-carrying commuters, totes are suddenly everywhere. They come as gift bags at events and orientations, as sign-up bonuses for Web sites and magazines, and with purchases at some of New York’s hottest stores. Companies, realizing the potential of turning customers into an army of brand ambassadors, are replacing paper shopping bags with branded totes. And by schlepping the totes around the city, consumers can tell the world where they shop, what they read, the music they listen to and their political leanings — or at least an idealized version, by picking and choosing which bags they carry.”

As Shea points out, a wide array of different types of businesses are capitalizing with branded totes.

Take the tote the New Yorker magazine sends to subscribers. The Post spoke with a couple Brooklynites who were stoked to be wearing the tote around the city. Indeed, Williamsburg resident Ann Wadsworth told the Post she and her roommate, who share a New Yorker subscription, have morning squabbles over who gets to carry the tote that day. “We were super-excited to receive it,” Wadsworth said.

New Yorkers are also digging totes from smaller brands and businesses. Such branded bags provide a certain hip cachet and enable the wearers to help promote businesses they love. Brooklyn resident Diana Williams told the Post she is happy to wear the tote of Brigadeiro Bakery, a Brazilian pastry shop where she formerly worked. “I love the bakery, I love the chef, I love the food,” Williams said.

For promo distributors, the clear upshot is that totes are trending, and the time is ripe to expand sales of the products with customers who may not have previously purchased totes – or who haven’t done so in a while. It might not even hurt to show prospects the Post article and discuss how tapping into such popularity surges can power an increase in impressions for a brand – especially at a time when people are becoming increasingly eco-conscious, incorporating more resuable items, like totes, into their routine.

Still, maybe you don’t want to go too tote crazy. As We Bare Bears point out in this in silly clip, there’s such a thing as too many totes. (Tote life!)