India bags Samsonite’s 2nd-largest market tag, overtakes China in last calendar year, Retail News, ET Retail

Spread the love

Mumbai: Samsonite, the world’s biggest luggage maker, said India has outpaced China as its second-largest market in the last calendar year, helped by a travel and wedding boom while the neighbouring country’s business declined due to restrictions.

Many countries across the world eased their travel restrictions more than a year ago, fuelling a rapid recovery. However, after three years of lockdowns, closed borders and mandatory quarantine, China eased its zero-Covid policy just two weeks ago.

“As a country, we have managed Covid better and in our case, travel habits have changed drastically unlike other markets. Most people in the middle to high income group have more than doubled their holidays in a year, helping our brands,” said Jai Krishnan, CEO, Samsonite India.”We have expanded more than 40% compared with 2019, which was our best year, indicating the kind of growth we have seen last year. We are now bigger than China and will continue to be even in 2023.”

India bags Samsonite's 2nd-largest market tag, overtakes China in last calendar year
To be sure, Samsonite’s China sales stood at $228 million in 2021 compared with India that clocked $140 million. India’s revenues stood at $99 million during the six months ended June 2022 while China’s were $76 million. The annual numbers have not been announced yet.

The Indian business has grown consistently over the past three quarters ended September with growth rate between 25% and 52% while that of the neighbouring country fell between 34% and 62%.

‘Raising Capacity by 40%’
“We were the first ones to foresee the recovery and were ready with inventory, connecting with consumers and customers. In fact, two years ago, we doubled our capacity at our largest manufacturing plant in Nashik and we are again increasing it by 40% with an investment of Rs 110 crore. We also invested in a five lakh square feet warehouse,” added Krishnan.

The luggage business in India is estimated at less than ₹50,000 crore, with organised players accounting for about a quarter of the industry. VIP, Samsonite and Safari Industries control nearly 90% of the branded segment. In the past few years, the luggage industry has grown steadily led by changing lifestyles, growing middle class and availability of low-cost airfares.

In India, Samsonite straddles across price-points with the eponymous brand in the premium segment, American Tourister in the value segment and Kamiliant at the mass-priced level. American Tourister is the country’s biggest luggage brand and accounts for around 55% of Samsonite’s India revenues.

Last year, Samsonite International CEO Kyle Gendreau said India has been an amazing story and business saw a turnaround. “If you remember, last year in Q2, India had a real Covid crisis where they had kind of started moving again and then trenched back. But then as India reopened, you can see that their numbers are up and really continuing strong momentum. India is a terrific story, really helping cover up some of the shortfalls we are seeing in China as the latter gets into a position of recovery,” Gendreau had told investors.

Source link