One of the most reputed luggage manufacturers and retailers in the world, US-based Samsonite has been ruling the market since its initial years. With a range of product offerings, right from briefcases to larger suitcases to even small bags for essentials, Samsonite grew from being a small suitcase company to a company that is, today, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

A Brief History

Founded by Jesse Shwayder on March 10, 1910, in Denver, Colorado, Samsonite was first known as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. Founder Shwayder was a luggage salesman and brought his expertise working on the field to the company. One of the first products of the company was named “Samson”, after a character in the Holy Bible, (Shwayder was a religious man!) until the company ultimately started going by Samsonite in 1941 owing to its vulcanized fiber suitcases, one of its most popular products – a far cry from the religious beginnings!

By 1965, the Samsonite suitcases were the company’s best-selling signature products, making the company’s name synonymous with the products; this ultimately led to the company changing its name officially to “Samsonite.”

In addition to suitcases, the Samsonite Furniture Company, a subsidiary of the company, also made and sold furniture, specifically card tables and folding chairs. In 1961, the company also went on to manufacture and distribute Lego toys in the North American market; this ended in 1972, though the company continued distributing the toys till 1986 in Canada.

After changing many hands (Shwayder sold the company to Beatrice Foods in 1973 who sold it to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1986 who sold it to multiple people in the 80s and 90s), the company was finally acquired in 2005 by Marcello Bottoli, Louis Vuitton’s ex-CEO, who pulled the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. However, Bottoli left the company in 2009.

The company did eventually go on to file for bankruptcy and had to raise funds by going public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and there’s been no looking back ever since! The company went on to acquire many other companies, the most significant acquisition being the acquisition of competitor Tumi for $1.8 billion; the acquisition of this luxury baggage company marked Samsonite’s biggest acquisition to date.

Samsonite Brands

Samsonite currently sells a range of backpacks, travel accessories, wallets, belts, luggage, duffel bags, and business bags that are sold under various brands. The following is a list of brands that Samsonite has sold and currently sells:

  • High Sierra
  • Samsonite 
  • eBags 
  • Samsonite Red
  • Hartmann Luggage 
  • American Tourister 
  • Tumi Inc. 
  • Kamiliant Speck Products 
  • Gregory Mountain Products

Strategies for Success

Many reasons lie behind Samsonite’s success in the market, and one of them is its successful, innovative strategies. Samsonite is constantly working to capitalize on its strengths and diversify its business, all while maintaining the strength of the business. Some of the strategies that have led it to success are:

  • Efficient brand and product marketing/ advertising
  • Innovative and contemporary product offerings 
  • Targeting fast-growing markets 
  • Seizing new opportunities for business 
  • Continuously work to improve efficiency

Target Market

In its initial years, Samsonite’s target audience was “turn-of-the-century travelers”; mainly those looking for affordable yet classy luggage and especially those who were swayed by trends but still had one foot firmly grounded in “convenience!” Eventually, the company’s main target audience evolved to include businessmen and those traveling for leisure.

Today, the company has a wide target audience, ranging from students to businessmen to vacationers to the fashion-conscious elite, with fashion guru Alexander McQueen even launching one of the company’s brands – Black – and Samsonite opening up stores in fashion capitals around the world.

Why Buy a Samsonite Backpack

There are many reasons why you should opt for a Samsonite backpack; not only is the company known for its innovative products, excellent strategies, and market leadership but also for the following reasons:

  • Samsonite leaves customers spoiled for choice with a range of styles offering various combinations of style, sophistication, and functionality. Whatever the style, though, you’ll find that each product features an original design and is extremely durable.
  • Long day at the office that you’re finishing off with a party? Your Samsonite backpack is the perfect accessory – it can suit a range of settings, from official to downright party animal!
  • Samsonite offers an impressive array of products such as laptop backpacks, suitcases, casual backpacks, rucksacks, travel accessories, and even wallets and belts.
  • Samsonite backpacks, however trendy and stylish, are backed by solid efficiency and performance. Backpacks come equipped with a range of features such as contoured straps with extra padding, tech-friendly layouts, and design, lightweight yet durable, and in a range of different materials, from leather to nylon to polyester.
  • Samsonite backpacks become your personal style and identity statement.
  • Most Samsonite backpacks come with 3-year limited warranties.
  • With over 100 years in the industry, the brand is highly reputed and experienced, so you can rest assured that you’re buying quality products.
  • All of Samsonite’s backpacks are designed to help users maintain a healthy posture, by minimizing pressure on the back, spine, and shoulders. All of Samsonite’s backpacks feature dri-fit meshes to help users keep cool, while padded, adjustable shoulder straps keep shoulders comfortable.
  • Backpacks feature multiple compartments that enable efficient organizing of belongings.

Price Range

Samsonite has a wide range of products that span a variety of prices. Some of their bags and backpacks start as low as $30 and go all the way up to $500. Their luggage options start at around $50 and can go up to the $1,000-1,200 range.

The accessories are of various types – toiletry and cosmetic kits, wallet and passport covers, battery packs and adapters, RFID gadgets, umbrellas, portfolios, and laptop sleeves – and start at around $2 for a luggage tag and go on to $100-120 for toiletry kits and under-seaters.

The Final Word

All said and done, there’s very little margin for error when you pick out a Samsonite backpack. High quality, affordable prices and a range of convenient features make this brand a much-loved brand among luggage and backpack shoppers across the world.

Additionally, the backpacks are versatile – you can get through a variety of settings with the same backpack, as well as use one backpack for many purposes, right from carrying your tech gear to clothes for an overnighter to your own mobile office.

If you were looking for a new backpack or just wanted to explore good backpacks in the market, our picks are a great place to start (and even finish – each of these backpacks is a great investment!). While they have their own cons (which product doesn’t?), the pros far outweigh the cons in our books, so we’d gladly recommend these backpacks to anyone looking to buy one!

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