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    Jun 2009
    Spain BCN (Barcelona)


    Default Samsonite business segment to lead growth, to open 20 stores in '10

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    Premium travel goods manufacturer, Samsonite will open 20 exclusive 'Samsonite Business' stores in 2010.

    The stores, which will cater exclusively to the needs of the business traveller, will account for 50 per cent of the company's annual budget. Locations of the stores will include airports, shopping malls and business districts.

    The first two stores are set to open at Mumbai's domestic and international airports by first week of January 2010.

    It has also signed leases to open its business outlets in the Hyderabad and Bangalore airports. The company's business segment, which accounts for 40 per cent of sales, is set to be company's growth driver.

    '' We expect the stores to cost around Rs 25 lakh each with 400-500 sq ft of space. It will stock essential business travel gear like laptop cases, travelbags, backpacks and accessories.

    Our business segment is going to be our growth driver,'' said Samsonite Greater Asia, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Subrata Dutta here today.

    The company will also invest upto 30 crore to open 25-30 exclusive and franchise showrooms in tier II-III towns in 2010. It currently has over 200 retail outlets nationwide which stocks both ''American Tourister'' products which accounts for 60 per cent of the company's sales and premium Samsonite products which account for the remaining turnover.

    The company, which saw sales flatten in the first half of the year, witnessed it pick by upto 50 per cent in the later to settle at 28 per cent in the fiscal. It's market share in the organized travel luggage segment stands at 32 per cent. In the premium travel luggage segment, the company has cornered the market with an 87 per cent market share. Its plant in Nashik, with a capacity of 1.2 million units operates at 60-65 percent capacity, with 80 per cent of the output exported and 20 per cent sold in the domestic market.

    The USD 1.2 billion company will also launch a promotional campaign to mark its 100 anniverssary and introduce its ''Cosmolite'' range with 5,000 spots in the electronic media starting January 2010.

    '' Our target audience is usually aware of our two brands. In FY10, we spent Rs 20 crore in brand building, and next year that amount will increase substantially. In the first quarter of FY11 itself, our spend will be 20 per cent more,'' said Dutta.

    In India, people who travel not to their hometowns but elsewhere account for only .one-.two percent, whereas in similar economies like Indonesia or the Phlippines the figure is around five percent.

    This translates into a huge potential for companies like ours. We believe Asia, which currently accounts for one-third of our market will account for two-thirds in the next five to seven years, stated Samsonite, Greater Asia, president, Dr Ramesh Tainwala.


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