U.S. luggage market growth trends strengthened over the 1990s due to sharper gains in personal income and favorable demographics. Demand was also stimulated by the introduction of wheeled and lightweight luggage products and casual luggage lines, and the growing need for lifestyle products such as backpacks, sports bags, and computer cases. Stronger growth resulted in rising U.S. luggage manufacturer profit margins. Margin gains also benefited from improvements in labor productivity and moderating material costs. U.S. manufacturers were able to boost plant profit margins despite rising competition from foreign-sourced products and relatively weak product price gains. Market growth is forecast to strengthen further over the next five years as the key baby boomer market moves through its prime luggage buying years.
Scope And Methodology
The SBI Market Profile on luggage is a guide to the growth- and profit-oriented opportunities for manufacturers and marketers of suitcases and related items, travel and sports bags, and business bags. This comprehensive database covers U.S. shipments, imports, retail sales, consumer demographics, travel patterns, the cost structure of domestic plants and the competitive environment, and export shipments and the Canadian market situation. In addition, the leading manufacturers and marketers are profiled in order to review major competitor strategies.
U.S. luggage product market trends are analyzed in the Executive Summary Section (Section 1). SBI compiled U.S. Department of Commerce statistics on U.S. shipments and imports in order to calculate the U.S. supply. Similar calculations were made for the industry’s major product sectors: suitcases and similar luggage; business bags; travel, sports, and day bags; and other luggage products such as commercial cases. Pricing trends are analyzed from Bureau of Labor Statistic surveys.
Section 2 analyzes U.S. luggage product shipments by sector, line, and material. Data is compiled from Department of Commerce surveys. Shipment data is for all domestic manufacturers, whether plants are owned by U.S.- or foreign-based companies and whether or not plants specialize (50% or more of total facility revenues) in one or more of the industry’s product sectors. Import data is derived from U.S. Customs records (Section 3). Import statistics are organized by industry sector, material, and by major country of origin.
Retail sales and distribution channels are evaluated in Section 4. Data is compiled from Showcase International magazine surveys. Retail sales are provided for four industry sectors and twenty product lines. Sector pricing is analyzed by age group and income class, while sales distribution is shown for 12 channels. The number and sales of U.S. luggage and leather goods stores by region and state are compiled from Department of Commerce surveys.
SBI investigates the factors affecting U.S. luggage product demand (Section 5). Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys provide data on luggage purchases by household income, age of household head, size of household, and region. Simmons Market Research Bureau surveys also provide data on the likelihood of U.S. adults to take a domestic or foreign trip by demographic characteristic. Statistics on U.S. travel patterns are compiled from various sources. These include the Travel Industry Association of America, the American Hotel and Motel Association, and the U.S. Travel and Tourism Administration. Data includes travel by U.S. residents, and by mode of transportation, duration, distance, type of lodging, month, and state ranking. Data trends of white collar employment, school enrollment, sports participation, and musical instrument shipments give insights into demand in these market niches.
SBI also utilized Department of Commerce surveys to investigate the U.S. luggage manufacturer cost structure and plant profitability (Section 6). Data trends include the number of U.S. plants specializing in the industry’s product lines, plant shipments, and the share of shipments allocated to payroll, other labor costs, and material costs. From this analysis, SBI calculated the industry’s gross plant profit margin. In addition, the domestic industry’s labor situation was evaluated, including the number of employees, shipments per employee, and production workers’ average wages and weekly hours. SBI supplements U.S. Department of Commerce data with individual company information (Section 8). Annual reports, databases, and trade journals were searched for growth- and profit-oriented strategies and recent developments.
Foreign market potential was analyzed as well (Section 7). U.S. export shipments are compiled by the Department of Commerce. This data is presented by material and by major country of destination. The Canadian luggage market is evaluated from Statistics Canada sources. Canadian data trends cover shipments, imports, and exports.
Action-oriented executives are urged to use this comprehensive statistical database and competitor information to develop new products, take advantage of favorable demographic patterns, expand foreign market sales, and initiate profitable operating strategies. Executives are urged to compute their own company’s market share and compare their company’s own operating ratios to the industry average as part of this process.
Tables and Graphs:
Hours of Research: 600