As the pandemic brought global travel to a grinding halt, it also decimated demand for new luggage.
The effects are being felt across the board, from the world’s largest travel luggage company, Samsonite International, to Away, a popular millennial direct-to-consumer luggage brand.
The drop in travel, plus a steep pullback in consumer spending on discretionary items, sent luggage sales tumbling 80% in April, according to an NPD report released this week.
“It’s like somebody turned off the light switch,” said Richard Krulik, CEO of upscale luggage brand Briggs & Riley, whose sales are down more than 50% since mid-March.
Luggage sales were a bright spot before the pandemic hit, thanks to the growth in business and leisure travel, said Beth Goldstein, an accessories and footwear industry analyst with market research firm NPD Group.