TGA News Briefs
We’re in It Together and Here for You
Let Your TGA Membership Help You Get Back to Business
TGA Member Profiles are a terrific benefit of TGA membership. Member Profiles appear on the TGA website and in Travel Goods Showcase, the most widely-read trade magazine in the world of travel goods. Journalists and buyers use these profiles as a way of discovering new brands and products. Increase your visibility by submitting a member profile, and reap the countless rewards of TGA membership. Not a TGA Member? Contact Member Services Director Cathy Trecartin for details, firstname.lastname@example.org ; 877-842-1938, x-702 or log on to https://travel-goods.org/become-a-member/.
Preparing for Open Doors
There’s a lot more to getting back to business than simply unlocking the doors. Consumers need to be made to feel welcome – and safe. Rules specific to your locale must be adhered to. And you must communicate with customers to give them confidence to return. It’s a lot, but TGA’s COVID-19 industry updates page can help, with aggregated resources such as the National Retail Federation’s list of Coronavirus Retail Restrictions by State, updated daily; and Best Practices for Communicating Health and Safety at Businesses, by the U.S. Travel Association. Check back often for the latest guidance to help you move forward.
A hearty welcome to the following companies that have joined TGA since May:
- CRV Enterprises LLC, Leigh, UT (R); cruiseshipcenters.com
- Enviro-Point Ltd., Northumberland, UK (M); www.luggage-point.co.uk/enviropoint/
- Locksmiths Industries Pvt., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (M); locksmithsindia.com
- My Cruiser – EZ Pack, Prosperity, PA (M); mycruiserezpack.com
- Packwrite, Duluth, MN (M)
- Palacio International, Bluffton, SC (M); palacio.com
- Prince Corp Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (M); princeware.net
- Pull Up Case GmbH, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany (M); pullupcase.com
- Raffi Agency, Markham, ON, Canada (SR)
- SCOUT, Washington, DC (M); scoutbags.com
- Visitag, Appleton, WI (M); visitag.com
M=Manufacturer; R=Retailer; SR=Sales Rep
The Road Less Traveled
By Nate Herman
As I write this, Labor Day is signaling the unofficial end of summer. A summer like no other. Usually at this time, we are capping off huge sales of all types of luggage for the annual surge in travel by air, land, and sea with a spike in sales in backpacks, totes, and other travel accessories for the back-to-school season.
Instead, this summer we have taken the road less traveled…literally. And don’t even get me started on air and sea.
The patchwork re-opening of retail has been half-baked, hamstrung by lack of a national mask mandate, with small travel stores, the cornerstone of our industry, taking the brunt of constantly changing rules and no relief on rent like their larger neighbors.
Demand has been slow to recover, with air travel just getting off the ground but greatly restricted, car travel picking up but for much different trips, and the cruise industry grounded altogether.
And then back-to-school took on a whole new meaning with over half the country starting the school year partially or completely online.
However, our industry has embraced this summer’s unprecedented challenge the same way the industry overcame 9/11 and the Great Recession. Our industry has adapted, tailoring our product and how we deliver it to meet the consumer’s changing needs and evolving situation.
During this pandemic, Americans have embraced the great outdoors like never before – camping, hiking, biking, kayaking, boating, etc. And who supplied them the gear they needed – our industry. As families packed up and went to the beach or to the lake in droves, we provided the gear to make that happen.
How did we deliver? We followed our customers online so they could find the travel goods they needed, and have that gear delivered right to their front door.
Moreover, this Labor Day weekend, my family went camping at a national park. Not only was our campground, and every campground in the park, sold out, but the park was packed the entire weekend. Meanwhile, I don’t know of a single colleague whose family did not go somewhere this weekend – down to the ocean, to the lake, or up to the mountains. Frankly, it was one of the few times I was happy to see crowded roads and slow traffic.
This road less traveled is not without its potholes. Our industry still faces 25% punitive tariffs from the main supplier of our product, with no end in sight. And the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, one of the few bright spots for our industry, whose duty-free access for travel goods imports from countries like Cambodia, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, and Indonesia, is due to expire at the end of this year. We at the TGA are fighting hard for GSP renewal, but nothing is guaranteed in Washington, D.C.
And finally, of course, is what happens next with the pandemic, which regrettably, only time will tell. But I believe that by embracing the road less traveled, our industry just might find its way to the other side of this pandemic.
For more information, please contact TGA’s Nate Herman at email@example.com or 202-853-9351.
CALIFORNIA PROP 65
U.S. Travel Goods Industry Faces More California Prop 65 Notices; TGA Prop 65 Best Practices Guidance
Over the last few months, dozens of new California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) “60-day” notices have been issued alleging that brands and retailers sold totes, luggage tags, crossbody bags, passport/ID/card holders, handbags, wallets, backpacks, cosmetic/toiletry bags, travel/garment cases/bags, phone/tablet cases/holders/sleeves/dry bags, fanny packs, and travel kits in California that contained di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Bisphenol A (BPA), and/or diisononyl phthalate (DINP) in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The notices serve as intent to bring lawsuits against companies that made and sold these products.
Check out TGA’s member-only California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Best Practices Guidance on the Prop 65 page on the TGA website at travel-goods.org. This member-only guidance details best practices in developing your company’s Prop 65 testing and warning label protocol, including recommendations on which warning label text to use, where to place the warning label text, and how to test for Prop 65 listed chemicals in your products. For more information on Prop 65, please contact TGA’s Nate Herman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-853-9351.
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION
Matador Dedicated to Keeping Our Rivers CleanThe employees at Matador, a company focused on making high-performance travel equipment, have committed to taking part in river cleanups throughout the year. This past summer they removed over 400 lbs of trash from a one-mile stretch of the Colorado River.
One Tree Planted Project Spotlighted by Pelican BioThermal
Pelican BioThermal participated in a One Tree Planted project from June 1–August 31, 2020 to plant trees at nine sites across the southwest of Western Australia. They also contributed a portion of the total 51,241 trees that were planted for the project. At Lake Toolibin approximately 33,615 seedlings were planted in an area that provides an important habitat for several migratory bird species and plays a very important role in maintaining ground water levels lower than the lake itself. Across seven sites 13,142 seedlings were planted to create and improve the habitat for the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum. And 4,484 seedlings were planted to create a wildlife corridor for the benefit of Chuditch and Woylies.
ROYCE New York Launches ROYCE Cares
ROYCE New York recently announced the launch of ROYCE Cares, a new philanthropy initiative conceived as a call-to-action campaign to support charities struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis. Since its inception the initiative has grown into a robust corporate giving program dedicated to donating 40% of its e-commerce sales to non-profit organizations including God’s Love We Deliver, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, Americares, RAINN, Roads To Success, and Life Preservers. And as part of the initiatives debut, ROYCE collaborated with God’s Love We Deliver to create an exclusive ROYCE x God’s Love Collection spotlighting three of ROYCE’s best-selling styles, each elegantly blind-embossed with the God’s Love logo. A unique promo code, GIVEGODSLOVE, provides dedicated donors with the opportunity for ROYCE to give-back 40% of ANY ROYCE.us e-commerce purchase through 12/31/20 to God’s Love.
ZERO Halliburton Supports Frontline Workers
Humbled and awed by the dedication of New York’s frontline healthcare workers, ZERO Halliburton contacted their friends at the Four Seasons Hotel to help them provide 100 sun-hued edge lightweight carry-on cases filled with comforting products from Gillette, Venus, Lafco, This Works, and Endure Beauty – along with several KN95 face masks – to the selfless men and women staying at the hotel while they work relentlessly to care for thousands of COVID-19 victims. It is a small token of appreciation that they hoped would bring a moment of brightness along with a safe place to store their belongings – now and during the better days to come.
Dr. Segal’s makes fashionable, technically-advanced compression socks for the effective relief of sore, swollen legs.
“Dr. Segal’s socks really do work,” states Bradley Kalmek. “By adding a gentle squeeze to the legs, the massaging action of our fabulous compression socks reduce leg pain and bring instant relief to tired, achy legs.”
Dr. Segal’s was founded in 2012 in Vancouver, Canada and designed by a surgeon with over 20 years of experience treating patients with vein disease. The team at Dr. Segal’s aims to popularize compression hose by uniting medical technology with fashion and design to create a product that people actually want to wear.
Gruv Gear began as a personal project for Jay Baldemor, who worked in web design and development by day, and as a musician at night, playing various clubs and bars around Los Angeles. He looked for cart solutions for his bass rig but couldn’t find what he needed, so he designed his own – and Gruv Gear was born.
“When we produced our first product in 2009, the V-Cart Solo, I didn’t know this was going to turn into a business,” states Jay Baldemor. “Today over 250 world-class performers, producers, photographers and million-mile travelers endorse and trust Gruv Gear with their everyday carry and tech essentials.”
Gruv Gear continues to revolutionize the musician and jetsetter’s lifestyle with innovative bags and accessories, with distribution in more than 55 countries and shipping from warehouses in California, Shanghai, Germany and Canada. The original V-Cart Solo earned a utility patent, spawning other carts to become rebranded as Krane AMG (Advanced Moving Gear), the premier transport gear of choice in several industries.