|Traded as||Samsonite International S.A. SEHK: 1910|
|Founded||Denver, Colorado, USA (March 10, 1910)|
|Employees||8,864 employees (2014)|
Samsonite (SEHK: 1910) is a global luggage manufacturer and retailer, with products ranging from suitcases to backpacks and travel accessories. It was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1910 by Jesse Shwayder. Shwayder named one of his initial cases Samson, after the Biblical strongman, and began using the trademark Samsonite in 1941. The company changed its name to Samsonite in 1966. Samsonite claims to make strong, and lightweight suitcases combined with an innovative design.
The company was founded in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1910 by Jesse Shwayder. In 1881 the Shwayder family emigrated from Poland to Denver Colorado in the United States. In the late 1800s the 25-year old Jesse moved to New York to start working as a salesman for a bag company. Jesse quits his job in 1910 because he missed Colorado and he longed to pursue his dream of starting his own business. On 10 March 1910 Jesse Shwayder opened a small luggage factory in Denver, manufacturing suitcases with a small team of 10 staff. It was around this time Jesse introduced his management philosophy to guide the firm from day one, namely the Golden Rule (‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you‘). This Golden Rule is still the current company philosophy of Samsonite.
In the following years Jesse’s brothers (Maurice, Sol, Ben and Mark) joined the company, so in 1912 the business became incorporated as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. A religious man, Shwayder named one of his initial cases Samson, after the Biblical strongman, and began using the trademark Samsonite in 1941. The company changed its name to Samsonite in 1966.
When Jesse Schwayder founded Samsonite in 1910, travel was reserved for only an exclusive few, those who had the means to see the world. Given this exclusivity, travel was a high quality experience from the transportation, to the attention to service, to even the accessories used to carry one’s belongings. As one of the first brands in travel, Samsonite is well known for its craftmanship and heritage.
The Denver factory, which employed 4,000 employees at its peak, closed in May 2001. Samsonite decided to move its US headquarters from Denver to Mansfield, Massachusetts, after a change of ownership in May 2005. In September of 2005, the brand decided to move its US Marketing & Sales offices from 91 Main Street in Warren, Rhode Island, to Mansfield, Massachusetts. In July 2007, finance investor CVC Capital Partners took over Samsonite for $1.7 billion.
Due to the global financial crisis, the luggage industry as a whole was going through a rough economic time. Samsonite also had a difficult period in 2009, where they discontinued the 'Black label' brand in the United States and Europe (except in Russia). Due to reorganizations and a different brand strategy, Samsonite succeeded to increase their market share again in 2010.
Today Samsonite is the market leader in the global luggage industry and its market share continues to grow. Samsonite is known for its innovative materials (e.g. Curv) and designs. In 2008 the brand launched the Cosmolite suitcase made with the revolutionary Curv technology. Today, the Cosmolite collection is the best-selling Samsonite collection worldwide. The collection has been awarded with the ‘best of the best’ Red Dot design award in 2010 for best luggage design.
Here are just a few of the luggage landmarks that Samsonite has created over the years:
|Europe||1996||Vizo||Epsilon Epicenter - Genera - Epsilon Beauty case.|
|Europe||1997||IF, Product Design Award||Epsilon Epicenter - Genera - Epsilon Beauty case.|
|Europe||1997||IF, Product Design Award||Prof Line, Ziplite (upright).|
|Europe||1997||IF, Product Design Award||Prof Line, Mobile Office.|
|Europe||1997||Design Museum Ghent||Prof Line Ziplite.|
|Europe||1998||IF, Product Design Award||700 series Silhouette, hardside case.|
|Europe||1998||IF, Product Design Award||550 series Epsilon Comfort, Piggyback.|
|USA||1998||International Design Excellence Awards||552 series Epsilon Comfort, Piggyback.|
|Europe||1998||IF, Product Design Award||450 series Oyster II, Suitcase & Beauty case.|
|Europe||1999||Red Dot Design Award||550 Series Spark, Flatter (big wheel).|
|Europe||2000||Red Dot Design Award||450 Series, Ziplite D-Max.|
|Europe||2000||Red Dot Design Award||800 Series, Xylem.|
|Europe||2001||Red Dot Design Award, Best of the Best 2001||Samsonite by Starck, Gaoua (Duffle on Wheels) + Yap (Backpack).|
|Europe||2001||Red Dot Design Award||Xylem aluminium line.|
|Europe||2001||Red Dot Design Award||450 Ziplite backpack, Zython + Zigurath.|
|Europe||2001||Étoile l'Observeur du Design in France||Samsonite by Starck, Gaoua.|
|Europe||2002||Red Dot Design Award, Best of the Best 2002||800 Series Xylem, Altair, 55 cm.|
|Europe||2002||Red Dot Design Award||800 Series, Xylem, Thuban.|
|Europe||2002||Red Dot Design Award||700 Series X-Pansion, Suzuka + Sugo.|
|Europe||2002||IF, Product Design Award||700 Series Prof Line deluxe, Manchester|
|Europe||2002||IF, Product Design Award||700 Series Prof Line deluxe, Kuala Lumpur|
|Europe||2002||IF, Product Design Award||Ziplite D-Max Zython + Zigurath.|
|Europe||2002||IF, Product Design Award||Samsonite by Starck, Gaoua, Duffle on Wheels.|
|Europe||2003||Étoile l'Observeur du Design||Samsonite by Starck, YESA, upright 55 cm.|
|Europe||2004||Red Dot Design Award||350 Series Sahora, spinner 55, 66, 77.|
|Europe||2004||Dyson Young Design Award for Graduation project||Samsonite Black Label Tartaruga.|
|Europe||2006||Red Dot Design Award||Samsonite Black Label Tartaruga.|
|Europe||2006||Red Dot Award||Samsonite Black Label Tartaruga.|
|Europe||2006||The Business Traveller Magazine - Favourite Luggage Brand.|
|Europe||2006||Red Dot Design Award, Best of the Best 2006||Samsonite Black Label Scope (Newson), Upright 55 cm.|
|Europe||2007||Condé Nast Traveller, Innovation & Design Awards for Style on the Mover.||Samsonite Black Label by Alexander McQueen.|
|Europe||2007||IF, Outdoor Industry Award||Sloth (Samsonite Outlab).|
|Europe||2007||The Business Traveller Magazine - Favourite Luggage Brand|
|Europe||2008||Design @ Work||Cosmolite.|
|Europe||2008||Red Dot Design Award||Sloth (Samsonite Outlab).|
|Europe||2008||The Business Traveller Magazine - Favourite Luggage Brand|
|Europe||2009||Design Vlaanderen "Henry Van de Velde" label 2009||Cosmolite.|
|Europe||2009||The Business Traveller Magazine - Favourite Luggage Brand|
|Europe||2010||Red Dot Design Award, Best of the Best 2010||Cosmolite.|
|Europe||2010||Observeur du Design - Label (Etoile TBC)||Cosmolite.|
|Europe||2012||Red Dot Design Award||Litesphere.|
|Europe||2012||Red Dot Design Award||Inova.|
|Europe||2013||Red Dot Design Award||Thermo Sleeve.|
|Europe||2014||Red Dot Design Award||Kapsule|
Lego by Samsonite
Beginning in 1961, Samsonite manufactured and distributed Lego building toys for the North American market under license from the Danish parent firm. A licensing dispute ended the arrangement in the U.S. in 1972, but Samsonite remained the distributor in Canada until 1988. Albert H. Reckler, then head of Military and export sales for the luggage division, brought the idea of manufacturing and selling Lego in the U.S. to Samsonite. He and Stan A. Clamage were instrumental in establishing the Lego brand in the United States. This was part of an overall company expansion into toy manufacturing in the 1960s that was abandoned in the 1970s.
Disney by Samsonite
In 2014 Samsonite started to collaborate with Disney and launched the Disney by Samsonite collection for kids. Samsonite used Disney's most popular figures (like Minnie & Mickey Mouse, Planes, Cars, Disney Princess, Disney Fairies, Disney Violetta) to introduce their Disney By Samsonite collection. Besides the Disney by Samsonite collection 2014 also saw the launch of the Marvel by Samsonite and Star Wars by Samsonite collection. The Disney by Samsonite collections feature products ranging from pencil cases to schoolbags and uprights.
Samsonite recently created, in conjunction with 4 international top bloggers, a travel page #Tips2Go. The brand collaborates with international fashion bloggers (e.g. Zina Charkoplia, Noor de Groot, Adenorah and Dandy Diary) to provide interesting travel tips, with a lifestyle focus, for the world traveler. Each blogger tells a travel story (content, pictures, videos,…) based on their life, trips and travel experiences.
Travelers’ Choice Awards
Since 2012, the world’s largest travel website, TripAdvisor, organizes the Travelers’ Choice Awards. The award is based on the travel favourites of almost 100 000 travelers worldwide. TripAdvisor introduced more than 45 categories, including luggage category. In 2013 and 2014 Samsonite was rewarded as the brand with the best carry-on luggage, according to the nearly 100 000 participants.
- "Retail Gazette", Timothy Parker steps down as CEO of Samsonite, August 29, 2014
- "Samsonite Investor Website", Samsonite Annual Reports, August 5, 2014
- "2011 Annual Report". Samsonite International S.A. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012.
- "Reuters", Samsonite Annual Reports, November 28, 2014
- "Funding Universe", Samsonite Corporate History, August 5, 2014
- Barreto, Elzio (June 10, 2011). "Samsonite HK IPO bags $1.25 billion after pricing at bottom". Reuters. Retrieved 2012-03-04.
- Clothier, Mark (July 6, 2007), "Luggage Maker Packs up Sale Deal", Denver Post (Bloomberg News).
- "Samsonite relocates operations to Mansfield, Mass." May 25, 2005. Warren Times. Retrieved January 2, 2007.
- Clothier, Mark (July 5, 2007), "Samsonite Sold to Buyout Firm", Denver Post (Bloomberg News).
- "Samsonite". Samsonite company stores. September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Samsonite retail unit files for bankruptcy". Reuters. September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Statista", Market Share of the Global Luggage Market by Company, November 28, 2014
- Online", Website of Curv, November 28, 2014
- "Red Dot", Red Dot award ‘Best of the Best’, November 28, 2014
- "Red Dot Design Award", Cosmolite, winner of the Red Dot Design Award Best of the Best 2010 , November 28, 2014
- Toys catalogue (photo gallery), Samsonite, 1972.
- "Bloomberg”, Disney by Samsonite: Magical Collaboration to Encapsulate Youthful Nostalgia, March 31, 2014
- "Broadway World”, Samsonite unveils Disney collection of luggage for kids (of all ages), March 31, 2014
- "Samsonite Website”, Disney by Samsonite: Product Range, November 27, 2014
- "Frontier Magazine", Samsonite Travel Site #Tips2Go, November 28, 2014
- "TripAdvisor", TripAdvisor Announces Travelers’ Choice Favorites , November 28, 2014
- "TripAdvisor", TripAdvisor names Travelers’ Choice Favorites – The Brands Travelers Say They Must Have When Travelling , November 28, 2014
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