|Traded as||SEHK: 1910|
|Founded||Denver, Colorado, USA 1910|
|Headquarters||Mansfield, MA, U.S.|
|Tim Parker, Chairman and CEO|
Samsonite International S.A. (SEHK: 1910) is an American luggage manufacturer and retailer, with products ranging from large suitcases to small toiletries bags and briefcases. It was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1910 by Jesse Schwayder. Schwayder 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.
The company was founded in Denver, Colorado, USA in 1910 by Jesse Schwayder, a luggage salesman, as the Schwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company. A religious man, Schwayder 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. For many years, a subsidiary, Samsonite Furniture Co., made folding chairs and card tables in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
The Denver factory, which employed 4,000 at its peak, closed in May 2001. Samsonite headquarters moved from Denver to Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA after a change of ownership in May 2005. CVC Capital Partners Ltd. in July 2007 became Samsonite's fifth owner in 21 years.
Samsonite moved its US marketing and sales offices from 91 Main Street in Warren, Rhode Island, to Mansfield, Massachusetts effective September 1, 2005.
On September 2, 2009, Samsonite Company Store LLC (U.S. Retail Division), formally known as Swainsonite Company Stores Inc, filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. It planned to close up to 50% of its stores and discontinue the "Black Label" brand in the United States.
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 1986. 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. The Shwayder family sold the company to Beatrice Foods in 1973.
- "2011 Annual Report". Samsonite International S.A. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2012.
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- Clothier, Mark (July 6, 2007), "Luggage Maker Packs up Sale Deal", Denver Post (Bloomberg News).
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- Toys catalogue (photo gallery), Samsonite, 1972.
- "After shoes, Samsonite plans watches, eyewear". The Hindu Business Line. September 18, 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Samsonite Enters Market For Protective Mobile Device Cases With Acquisition Of US-Based Company Speck Products". www.marketwatch.com. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
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