Luggage has traveled very far over the years: from the steamer trunks of bygone times to the double-locking suitcases of the 1950s to the four-wheeled trolleys of today, luggage provides an exciting look at the history of the human movement behind it. While growth in personal luxury goods has been slowing as of late, travel and tourism are increasing, especially amongst the growing middle class in China. Over the last five years, a major shift in people investing their money into experiences rather than goods has taken place. More so, people are influenced by modern technologies, creating the need for so-called ‘smart’ suitcases with electronic tracking tags inside. The opportunity for growth in the luxury luggage sector became even clearer after LVMH’s purchase of an 80 percent stake in Germany’s Rimowa for EUR640 million(USD716 million). This was the second momentous investment in this sector in 2016 following Samsonite’s acquisition of Tumi worth USD1.8 billion in August, undermining the increasing interest in a market with few players but many opportunities to grow. This case analyzes and compares two acquisitions in the global luxury luggage market, namely LVMH’s 80 percent stake in the German high-end luggage brand Rimowa, and Samsonite’s acquisition of the American luggage manufacturer Tumi. More specifically, it addresses the following questions (a) Which are the major aspects that influenced the development of the luxury luggage industry (b) How is today’s luxury luggage industry shaped and what can be said about the need to globalize? (c) What are the similarities or differences in both acquisitions? (d) Was it a smart move from LVMH to acquire an 80 percent stake in Rimowa? (e) Was Tumi a great fit for Samsonite?
SOM, A. et AUGUSTIN, K. (2017). RIMOWA & TUMI: Ready for Takeoff ? ESSEC Business School.