Increasing urbanization and changing lifestyles are the key drivers for the global luggage market. Technological advancements are further creating opportunities for luggage sales among high net-worth individuals, for whom safety is a major concern. Increasing travel and tours, rising business activities, and growing number of educational courses are further propelling the demand for luggage. Luggage is sold through various types of distribution channels such as specialist retailers, factory outlets, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and internet sales. Owing to the boom in online commerce, luggage sales through the Internet have been growing at a significant pace.
The large unorganized luggage markets in developing countries pose one of the greatest challenges for the organized luggage market. Countries such as China and India have large number of unorganized players. These regional players usually launch products with designs almost identical to those of the brands of global organized players. Unorganized players offer luggage at low costs as they save on costs of high-quality raw material, branding, advertisement, and R&D. The low- and medium-income populations in developing countries are the largest consumers of such relatively inferior products. The organized luggage market loses its prospective customers due to the presence of these players. In the absence of a strong anti-counterfeiting framework in developing countries, these unorganized players are flourishing and restraining the growth of the organized luggage market.
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There have been several technological advancements in the luggage market such as provision for increased level of security and utility in the baggage. These luggage products are expected to be popular among the HNWI population. Connectivity features added to the luggage increases their traceability and makes them more secure for traveling. Smart luggage is equipped with technologies and features such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Bluetooth-enabled lock, and a USB port for recharging electronic devices such as mobile phones.
In March 2015, Samsonite IP Holdings S.àr.l. announced the launch of GeoTrakR, a new line of suitcases equipped with a cellular-enabled baggage tracking system. ANDIAMO Luggage LLC, a luggage manufacturer based in the U.S., recently announced the launch of a baggage line with Wi-Fi Hotspot, battery charger, and other features. Rimowa GmbH (a luggage manufacturer based in Germany), in conjunction with Airbus Group (a France-based aircraft manufacturer) and Deutsche Telekom AG (a Germany-based telecommunications company), is developing Bag2Go, a smart suitcase line. The suitcase line is expected to be launched in 2016. Bag2Go would interact with sensors in the cargo holds of Airbus aircraft to identify their location.
Bluesmart Inc., a connected travel products company based in the U.S., recently raised USD 1.4 million through crowd funding from 3,500 investors to introduce a line of carry-on bags with a tracking system, scale, and battery with two USB chargers. Certain large technology companies such as AT&T Inc. are also engaged in the manufacture of smart bags that would track bags across airports.
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The major players in the global luggage market include Samsonite International S.A., Tumi Holdings, Inc., VIP Industries, VF Corporation, Briggs & Riley Travelware, Rimowa GmbH, MCM Worldwide, Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A., Goyard, and ACE Co, Ltd.