Travel-Retail Reimagined: Riding the Waves of COVID with Samsonite

Feb 11, 2022

The travel industry is undoubtedly one of the worst-hit industries by the pandemic. With border closures and social restrictions in place, people have not been able to travel much. As travel and tourism slow down, many businesses in the travel-retail sector have also been severely impacted.

How did luggage brands such as Samsonite deal with the pandemic? In our latest fireside chat, we sat down with GM – Business Strategy & AT/High Sierra from Samsonite, Marcio Oliveira, to understand how the company was able to push through and overcome the pandemic.

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Back to Fundamentals: Staying True to Its Core Values

When the pandemic first hit, it came quite naturally for Samsonite to return to its core values. Marcio shared that Samsonite is driven by innovation, something he has experienced himself throughout his seven years of working in the company. 

“We are constantly obsessed with innovation and we’re obsessed with quality on a very practical level. To bring a product from concept to creation, particularly to put it on the shelves. The level of testing, level of quality, and rigor that our processes demand is just extraordinary.”

Thanks to social media, it is common to see many new brands popping up all the time. For Marcio, what ultimately matters is the product itself and how the business can satisfy its customers.

Being Adaptable through the Crises

While it is important to stay true to the business core values, Marcio also highlighted Samsonite’s commitment to adaptability. The company has been in business for 111 years; they have been through major crises such as the World Wars, the 1929 Great Depression, and more. Even in this pandemic situation, Samsonite still remains a leader in the travel-retail scene. Although the pandemic is extremely challenging, it shows how the company is able to adapt and be resilient.

Marcio mentioned one of the difficulties that he faced over the pandemic was that Australia is more geographically isolated from the regional hubs as compared to his Asian and European colleagues. Therefore, it was more challenging to conduct important meetings in-person. However, the company was able to adapt to have good business continuity by investing in technology.

Building Effective Business Strategy

For businesses that are looking to grow beyond the pandemic, it is imperative to keep investing in the right areas. According to Marcio, each business should identify its niche and also find out the political climate, consumer sentiment, etc. He believes  everything has to be ultimately centered on customer behaviors, preferences, and needs. 

Additionally, it is extremely crucial to observe what competitors are doing. In Samsonite, Marcio shared how they take every competitor seriously and with the utmost respect. As history has shown, industries can move very quickly and competition can take a leap very rapidly. 

For the full discussion, check out the video below. You wouldn’t want to miss it! 

Marcio will be speaking at eTail Australia 2022. Do check it out and join his session! Just for our community members, don’t forget to mention our Parcel Monitor discount code for a special discount on tickets! (ParcelMonitor15off). 

For more exclusive reports, insights, and interviews on the latest updates in e-commerce and logistics, follow us on LinkedIn or join our community as a member.

About eTail Australia:

eTail Australia 2022 is a three days summit for retail, e-commerce and digital marketing innovators. The event will be held live and in-person at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park on 15-17 February 2022. This event will bring together a versatile mix of industries present, one place at one time, bringing together 250+ senior e-commerce and digital marketing attendees with 60+ speakers from top retail and e-commerce brands in ANZ.

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