The surge in travel and big-fat Indian weddings have pushed sales of the luggage industry. Big brands like Samsonite and Safari along with mega retailers like Reliance have been reporting a sales growth of nearly 50%-70% since the middle of 2022 over 2019 which was the best year ever for the industry.
In addition, the growth is being largely driven by Tier II and III cities, reported TOI.
“Branded luggage growth in our stores beats all other categories with over 50% uptick this year. Our middle-India customers want us to bring more variety and wider choice in luggage solutions. We are working with the brands, to delight them on this. We are at the start of this big wave for the branded luggage category. I believe backpacks & duffle bags are the unsung heroes in the luggage opportunity. Our stores and digital platforms are betting on them,” TOI quoted Damodar Mall, CEO, Grocery Retail, Reliance Retail, as saying.
Reliance Retail operates over 16,500 own stores and partners with over 20 lakh merchants across segments.
“The big fat Indian weddings are back and for every wedding luggage is an essential part of the trousseau. Each wedding sees 3-4 luggage to 8-9 pieces, depending on the budget. Plus, travel is back with people taking shorter breaks instead of one or two big holidays annually. People are more image conscious and don’t want to be seen taking luggage with a broken handle off carousels. Also there is more individual ownership with everyone, including children wanting to take their own luggage and not sharing any longer. Due to these structural changes, all brands (whether VIP, Safari or Samsonite) are seeing 65-70% growth in sales,” said Safari Industries MD Sudhir Jatia while attributing the high sales to travel and marriages.
The luggage industry has witnessed one of the best periods in the last few years, said Jai Krishnan, CEO India at Samsonite.
“While travel has definitely picked up, there is a shift in consumer behaviour with people taking multiple holidays. Student travel of 1.5 years (that could not happen during peak of Covid) was packed into six months. As a result, we have seen 50% higher sales this year than our previous best year that was 2019,” said Krishnan.
Samsonite’s brand American Tourister is India’s largest selling luggage brand. The travel luggage accounts for 70% of the market, with people getting increasingly brand conscious, revealed Krishnan.
“According to industry estimates, the luggage market — luggage, backpacks, duffel bags and business bags — in India is pegged at Rs 53,000 crore annually. While branded luggage accounts for 25% of these sales, the rest is unbranded,” reported TOI.
(With inputs from TOI)