Samsonite takes off with airport luggage retailer

Kasmira Jefford
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Samsonite has become a market leader for travel luggage
SAMSONITE has found a home for its bags after snapping up the airport retail chain Rolling Luggage yesterday from turnaround specialist Rcapital in a £15.75m deal.

The Hong Kong-listed luggage-maker said the deal would help to provide a platform for its brands while also giving it a foothold in the booming travel market as airports turn into shopping destinations in their own right.

Rolling Luggage has 36 outlets at airports in Europe and Asia-Pacific, including Heathrow, Frankfurt, Syd­ney and Hong Kong. It also sells brands includ­ing Tumo and Long­champ.

“Rolling Luggage is an exciting new addition to Samsonite and is unlike any of our previous acquisitions,” chief executive, Ramesh Tainwala, said. “It immediately allows us to expand our footprint in the travel retail sector, an area that we see great potential for further growth,” he added.

International tourist travel worldwide is expected to almost double to 1.8bn by 2030, with international tourism sales growing by more than 12 per cent a year since 2009.

In the UK, several retailers have moved into airports to target international shoppers including John Lewis and Ted Baker.

Rcapital bought Rolling Luggage in 2013 as part its acquisition of troubled parent company Tie Rack. It was turned into a separate business last year after a restructur. Sales at the retailer jumped 11.3 per cent to £26.7m sales in the year to 31 January.