Floating bomb-proof luggage on the stock market
July 1, 2014
Shopping is all about mentality. Are you buying for the short or long-term? In clothing, a lot of high-street companies compete for who can make things for the cheapest. If that is what you’re after then you’re probably not going to be a Tumi customer. If you are not a regular traveller or an aspirational businessperson then you will probably avoid buying our products.
Last year we launched a new set of Technolight bags made from SRPP (self reinforced polypropylene) – that is the same material that is built into the side of military vehicles to protect them against bomb blasts. It took us three years to be able to make indestructible luggage out of it.
I spend more than 150 days a year travelling, so my routine is pretty streamlined. I can get about four or five days out of carry-on bags. It’s key to keep things simple. Everything I wear is blue and my accessories are always black so I don’t have to worry about matching and it helps eliminate inessential decisions.
When I was growing up I got picked on, so I learnt to do martial arts. I started out with Kendo, but now I’m doing Ju-jitsu. I also have degrees in Taekwondo and Aikido. Generally, I don't like to do things that I’m not good at. I don’t play basketball or baseball because I’m not very good at them, but martial arts, I can do.
I’ve previously worked at some big retail companies such as Gap, Tommy Hilfiger and Esprit, but my biggest accomplishment has to be floating Tumi as a publicly traded company in 2012. It is not something that many people get to do and I am very proud of that.
Middle Eastern tastes
Luggage is a big seller for us in the Middle East, while in Asia we tend to be more known for briefcases. It is also interesting to note that in places such as China, the US and Japan, colour is more important than it is in the Middle East. Here people tend to opt for more upscale products.
There is a warehouse in Tennessee where all lost luggage in the US ends up. If no one claims it, then it gets rounded up and sold off at an auction. All Tumi bags have tracer tags in them, so – once you’ve registered them – a simple scan will identify your details and the luggage can be returned to you.
We are currently working on technology that will allow your phone to recognise your bag, as well as a built-in tracker that allows you to monitor your bag’s location via an app.
Details: visit Tumi.com