Samsonite to close down around a quarter of its India stores
Global luggage brand Samsonite may be planning to close over 100 of its around 475 franchisee-operated outlets in India after being impacted significantly by the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
Samsonite plans to close stores for its brands Samsonite, American Tourister, and House of Samsonite across India, sources told ET Retail. “They only plan to retain a handful of flagship stores in some malls and at some airports and the rest will be shut,” an anonymous source aware of the development told the newspaper.
The stores that Samsonite plans to shut are run by Bagzone Lifestyle, its largest franchisee partner which is promoted by former Samsonite global CEO Ramesh Tainwala’s family. Although Bagzone Lifestyle has not made an official statement on the store closures, a number of malls and landlords have received notices that the stores will close down, according to ET Retail.
The lockdown has especially affected luggage companies as travel has come to a halt across the world. “Luggage industry is fully dependent of travellers and it is going to be a lean couple of years for the industry,” the above source told ET Retail.
The nationwide lockdown, which began in India on March 25, is now allowing many stores classed as non-essential to reopen with strict health and safety measures in place. Consumer sentiment, however, is expected to be muted for goods in the fashion and lifestyle sectors as many consumers are facing reduced income and uncertain employment prospects. Malls currently remain closed, as they have been since before lockdown began.
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