Hartmann to expand in India, open more stores

Hartmann to expand in India, open more stores

American luxury luggage manufacturer Hartmann, which opened its first store in Bengaluru recently, plans to open more outlets in the country by end-2015.

For a start, the 135-year-old brand, acquired by Samsonite two years ago, will open five new outlets in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, in a bid to tap into the country’s burgeoning luxury travel segment, offering its range of luxury bags and luggage to travellers from the metros.

Samsonite Global Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Tainwala said, “Hartmann will be bringing in and retailing different product lines in India, which will include handbags, business bags, suitcases, wallets and purses (for men and women), among others,” adding that the luggage is priced in the range of Rs 20,000-25,000.

The company will be looking at selling its line of imported products through high-end retail outlets and mall format stores, and on its website.

“With the craftsmanship of Hartmann, backed by the technological edge of Samsonite, we will be able to provide a fashionable, yet durable line of products,” Tainwala claimed.

With regard to the luxury segment in India and demand for luxury products like bags, he said, “Over the years, luggage, as a category, has come to be accepted as a lifestyle product and a fashion statement. And, we are noticing a similar trend in India too. The luxury market here is limited at the moment, but is growing at a rapid pace.”

The company’s products are targeted at different, yet related groups of the country’s market, which include frequent travelers, infrequent travelers, high-end holiday-goers and corporates. “The lifespan of luggage (the time until a piece of luggage begins to wear out) has reduced to around three years, thanks to the number of trips people take and rough handling at airports. This compels buyers to look for new, high-quality luggage more often,” Tainwala said.  

Currently, the company has 40 stores globally and has enjoyed a CAGR of 25 per cent each year (for last five years). “We hope that the growth trajectory will continue and only improve in the coming five years,” Tainwala said, adding that in the coming three years, the company will plan 25 new stores each year, taking the total number of stores to 200.

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