Samsonite snaps up retail chain

Samsonite International has bought Rolling Luggage, an international network of airport stores selling branded luggage and travel products for business, fashion, adventure and leisure.

Samsonite paid the vendor, Tie Rack Retail Group, in turn owned by Rcapital, £15.75 million. The acquisition is part of Samsonite says is an ongoing strategy to enhance and strengthen its global multi-brand retail platform, as well as gain share in the large and growing travel retail market.

“Rolling Luggage is an exciting new addition to Samsonite and is unlike any of our previous acquisitions,” said CEO Ramesh Tainwala.

“It immediately allows us to expand our footprint in the travel retail sector, an area that we see great potential for further growth. With international tourist arrivals worldwide expected to almost double by 2030, reaching 1.8 billion and international tourism sales growing by more than 12 per cent a year since 2009, airport retail will continue to evolve as airports become shopping destinations in their own right.”

Tainwala said with the established retail and brand presence that Rolling Luggage has across some of the world’s highest-traffic airports, Samsonite sees the acquisition as a strategic opportunity to strengthen its multi-brand retail platform, increase visibility for Samsonite products among its target consumers and drive sales by offering better product assortment within an improved in-store experience.

Alex Willson, MD of Rolling Luggage, said Samsonite’s considerable experience in the travel luggage industry and Rolling Luggage’s passion about travel are a perfect match.

“We will work together to continue to ensure that we provide our consumers with a diverse and compelling product offering.”

Headquartered in the UK, Rolling Luggage operates 36 airport retail locations in the UK, Europe, and Asia Pacific, including prime retail locations in Hong Kong, Heathrow, Sydney, Melbourne and Frankfurt airports. Historically part of the Tie Rack Retail Group, Rolling Luggage became a standalone business following completion of an internal restructuring in April 2014.

Rolling Luggage recorded net sales of £26.7 million in the year to January 31, 2015, an increase of 11.3 per cent over the previous year.

Samsonite International is the world’s largest travel luggage company, with a heritage dating back more than 100 years. The group designs, manufactures, sources and distributes luggage, business and computer bags, outdoor and casual bags, and travel accessories throughout the world, primarily under the Samsonite, American Tourister, Hartmann, High Sierra, Gregory, Speck and Lipault brands.


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