TGA/TRAVEL GOODS MAGAZINE
The Humble Backpack: No Longer Just a Tasty Spice in the Luggage Stew
The rise of the backpack has been nothing short of meteoric. Between 2005 and 2019 the backpack category saw a whopping 245% increase in annual sales, from barely $1 billion to just over $4 billion. To put this into perspective, the second highest gain over this period was luggage at just 74%. The humble backpack shot from the fifth to the third most-popular category of luggage. As a percentage of luggage sales, backpacks have grown 100%, from 6% to more than 12.5%. This feature story approaches the backpack from all angles – sports, kids, style, gear-specific backpacks, and more. They’re not just for the classroom anymore, and the stats prove it.
What’s the Buzz?
Since the last Buzz update – new product introductions from Pacsafe, Parnell Pharmaceuticals, Sandy Bumz – exciting company news from Cabeau, Ms. Jetsetter, YKK, YaY Novelty, and SpectraSpray – and Go Travel celebrates a milestone.
Interested in Innovation and Have Two Minutes?
Click “play” and meet our two most recent “Packed in a Minute” products, HYDAWAY and the Travelpro x Travel + Leisure Collection.
It hangs and circles but does not swing, and boomerangs back when given a ping. Although made by hand, it needs two arms. Work or play, it always charms. It’s all for one or one for all – depending on who is answering travel’s call. So, riddle me this and register there. And if you’re not in the HUB, then…where? For the answer, get to The HUB today!
On May 4, the U.S. government published January-March 2021 import data. U.S. travel goods imports (luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags and travel bags) slipped 6.5% (by volume) in the first three months 2021 (vs. January-March 2020). While U.S. luggage imports remained way down (-29.5%) in the first three months of 2021, U.S. imports of handbags (+0.4%) and business cases and laptop bags (+11.7%) saw increases. In addition to the obvious impact of COVID-19 on sales and on travel and continuing issues with shipping, the latest import numbers show the accelerating trend away from China. In January-March 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from China fell 10.4%, with China accounting for only 52.8% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (11.9%) and #4 Burma (Myanmar) (6.3%) actually grew in the first three months of 2021. But U.S. travel goods imports from every major supplier fell in the first three months of 2021, including #3 Cambodia (-8.4%), #5 India (-18.6%), and #6 Indonesia (-18.7). Despite the declines, most top suppliers gained import share from China, with U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now accounting for 22.1% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (7.9%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (5.1%), and #5 India (3.7%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.
China’s exports surged more than expected in April as global demand for Chinese goods remained elevated amid countries’ varying stages of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. dollar-denominated exports rose 32.3% in April from a year ago, China’s customs agency said last week. That beat an estimate of 24.1% growth from analysts polled by Reuters. READ MORE
Protesters rallied in towns and cities around Myanmar earlier this week to denounce its military rulers, 100 days after the generals’ overthrow of an elected government pitched the country into its biggest crisis in decades. READ MORE
Remote working has become a possibility for many during the pandemic, meaning the office can now be anywhere from a kitchen table to a sandy beach on the other side of the world. And while relocating to a picturesque Italian town might also factor on many people’s lists, that prospect just got even better with two destinations offering to pay workers who make the move. READ MORE
Bryan Del Monte, President of The Aviation Agency, lends his expertise to what he believes is going to, or should, happen with the future of air travel moving forward. Vaccinations are key to getting air travel back to normal, but there’s a lot of discussion surrounding vaccine passports. Del Monte believes that changing the term ‘passport’ to ‘verification’ will get more people on board with the idea. READ MORE
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
One of the most significant effects of COVID-19 is the realization that, for many of us, geographical location has become less relevant – so long as there’s an internet connection. This flexibility allows more consumers to move away from urban centers; the latest Index data shows that 26% of respondents plan to live in less densely populated areas, up from 22% in April of 2020. READ MORE
Wealthy millennials are busy booking tickets and packing their bags. High-income millennials are set to drive the post-pandemic travel boom, according to a new survey from Accenture and TripAdvisor that polled 1,000 Americans. It defined millennial high earners as those raking in at least $100,000 a year. This cohort is most likely to spend big on travel this year, comprising the highest rate of luxury bookings (trips costing at least $5,000) among all other generations surveyed. READ MORE
Buy now, pay later providers have spent years slowly infiltrating the retail market through partnerships with merchants, but the pandemic has accelerated their popularity among online retailers, from luxury brands to independent shops to fast-fashion sites. As a result, more consumers have grown familiar with these services, many of which have buzzy two-syllable names like Affirm, Klarna, Quadpay, and Sezzle. READ MORE
While nostalgia has always played a significant role in determining where we travel and why, the forced separations and border closures during the pandemic have made nearly everyone in the world rethink where their next trip will be. Before COVID-19, I believed there were two primary kinds of travelers – people who are always hunting for something shiny and new and those who like to dig in deep and spend time re-exploring the same destinations. Now, I know it’s not necessarily so simple. READ MORE
Highly successful leaders are exceptional critical thinkers. Here are five ways to improve your approach to strategic problem-solving and decision-making. READ MORE
Branded content is so ubiquitous on social media that around a third of U.S. consumers now head to sites like Facebook and YouTube to begin their product searches. Over half have purchased something they first heard about on social media. It goes without saying, then, that in today’s online economy, a strong social media strategy is essential to running a profitable ecommerce business. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- In the HUB: Unravel the Riddle to See What Travelers Need… (TGA)
- Our Call for YOUR Company News (TGA)
- How to Pitch Billion-Dollar Retailers Like Target, Whole Foods on Stocking Your Million-Dollar Idea (CNBC)
- Global Supply Chain Continues to Shift Away from China, But It Remains the Top Sourcing Location (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST)
- The Dream: International Travel. The Reality: Chaos and Confusion (THE NEW YORK TIMES)