Suitcase maker Samsonite has decided to focus more on its secondary products - backpacks and bags. The year of the coronavirus was the worst for the company in almost 10 years: its revenue fell by about 60%.
The world's largest luggage manufacturer, Samsonite, is forced to rely more and more on its secondary products - backpacks, handbags and briefcases - in the face of the pandemic-induced recession in the travel industry. The president of the company for the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East Paul Melkebeke told Bloomberg about this.
“What has the coronavirus done? He has accelerated the development of our Beyond Travel segment. These tendencies existed before, but because of COVID-19, everything went much faster, ”Melkebeke told the agency. According to him, if a year ago the company's non-tourist products accounted for 40% of sales, today it accounts for almost half. Sales of major Samsonite travel brands fell 67% yoy in Q3 2020.
As the agency notes, amid the pandemic, Samsonite is experiencing its worst times since listing on the Hong Kong exchange in 2011. In the first nine months of 2020, the company's revenue fell 58%. To survive the crisis, the company had to close more than 10% of its own stores and lay off part of the staff.
Melkebeke is "100% confident" that the tourism industry will not return to pre-dock levels by the end of next year. For this to happen, he said, it will be necessary to wait for the widespread distribution of vaccines. In preparation for new realities, the company is also investing in the development of anti-virus technologies for its products. “When you travel by plane, it happens that you drop off your luggage, pick it up on arrival and have no idea what happened to it on the way. Perhaps the hygiene factor is something that will stay with us forever, ”Melkebeke notes.