Samsonite expands its luggage options

Having spent USD 1.8bn last August on the acquisition of Tumi Holdings, the company behind high-end luggage brand TUMI, Samsonite has announced today it is willing to continue spending to double the growth of the business.

This time the target is US-based ebags.com, the online retailer of luggage, backpacks, lap top bags and travel accessories, though the price is considerably lower at USD 105m. Samsonite is quoted as saying: “The acquisition will give the company a strong platform to help accelerate the growth of the company’s direct-to-consumer e-commerce business”. 

You could hardly call Samsonite a serial acquiror, having made 10 acquisitions since 2000, although the company has become more prolific in the last five years with six of their 10 deals prior to the ebags.com deal taking place since mid-2012. Its acquisitions so far have been quite diverse, ranging from the high-end of the market with TUMI to the acquisition of High Sierra Sport, the producer of adventure and sports-orientated luggage products, and Speculative Product Design, a company specialising in electronic device protective cases.

For any one who travels frequently, luggage and its treatment across the travel and hospitality industry is a contentious point; there is nothing more soul-destroying than treating yourself to a nice all-singing, all-dancing, lighter than a feather suitcase only to see it come out completely trashed on the baggage carousel or arrive in your hotel room with accidental biro marks on it (and I speak from personal experience).

Perhaps the next acquisition Samsonite should consider is some kind of technology company which makes equipment that could keep a watchful eye on your suitcase while it goes through its own personal journey from check-in to room arrival.