Plans are well underway for The 2023 Travel Goods Show — our first major industry gathering since 2020. Don’t miss reconnecting with your colleagues as we move #ForwardTogether. Buyers from these companies have already made plans to attend: Macy’s, Portmantos, QVC, Magellan’s, Irv’s Luggage, Hammacher Schlemmer, Boscov’s, AAA/CAA, Paradies Lagardere, Airline International, Backcountry, Groskopf’s, Luggage Shop of Lubbock, The Mazel Company, TripQuipment, Lazar’s Luggage Superstore, The Mazel Company…
On September 20, the Coalition for GSP — of which TGA is a member — will hold a lobby day in Washington, D.C. It is open to all U.S. importers and there is no cost to attend, so we strongly encourage you to participate and share the importance of GSP to your company. If you can attend, please register here as soon as possible. The meetings are timely: new legislation will be introduced shortly that could refund over $700 million in tariffs paid on luggage, handbags, backpacks, cases, wallets, etc. due to GSP expiration. We will ask Congressional offices to support that legislation as the bare minimum Congress should do this year (i.e., if no larger renewal deal can be reached). Please contact TGA’s Nate Herman if you have any questions or if you plan to attend the September 20 lobby day.
We had an interesting summer as an industry. Despite many headaches for our customers, travel this summer returned with a vengeance. And everyone went back to school in person this fall, leading to brisk sales of backpacks and related gear. This great news remains tempered, however, by ongoing congestion issues, high tariffs caused by Congress’ failure to renew GSP and the ongoing trade war, and more recently, the threat of growing inflation. So, where do we stand as we enter fall and the critical holiday shopping season? Read more in Capital Beat.
U.S. Travel Goods Industry Faces More California Prop 65 Notices; TGA Prop 65 Best Practices Guidance
Over the summer, dozens of new California Proposition 65 (Prop 65) “60-day” notices have been issued alleging that brands and retailers sold in California totes, travel bags, crossbody bags, organizer bags, phone/passport cases/bags, wallets, travel bottles, pet carriers, backpacks, and handbags that contained di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Hexavalent Chromium (Chrome VI), Bisphenol A (BPA), Di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP), and diisononyl phthalate (DINP) in violation of a California law known as Proposition 65 (Prop 65). The notices serve as intent to bring lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers 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. 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, 301-775-7633.
Inflation rose more than expected in August as rising shelter and food costs offset a drop in gas prices, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this week. The consumer price index, which tracks a broad swath of goods and services, increased 0.1% for the month and 8.3% over the past year. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, CPI rose 0.6% from July and 6.3% from the same month in 2021. READ MORE
The House is back this week, and that means lawmakers can get to work in earnest on trying to tie up some loose ends on trade policy before the midterm elections. READ MORE
Unions, Railroad Officials Head to D.C. As White House Urgently Discusses Contingency Plans Amid Rail Shutdown Threat
With the two sides still unable to reach an agreement and with a freight rail strike looming, union officials and representatives of the railroads convened in Washington, D.C. yesterday where they met with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, according to officials with each union and a Department of Labor spokesperson. READ MORE
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER
To master the art of packing light, you have to embrace traveling with only a carry-on bag. Luckily, the best carry-on luggage options are an impressive fleet of innovative designs — from expandable suitcases to ones with removable wheels. Ahead, discover the best carry-on luggage to buy right now — all of which our editors and contributors have packed, zipped, and taken on the road to ensure their durability, ease of use, and space — from top luggage makers like Briggs & Riley, Paravel, Away, Samsonite, and Arlo Skye. READ MORE
A new app called OfftheGrid aims to bring a Tinder-like experience to the travel market, by having its users swipe and chat with like-minded travelers while also discovering unique places to visit. The app gives users a way to share photos and videos of their travels, post about an upcoming trip, arrange meetups with others and learn about new travel destinations. READ MORE
If you’re thinking about flying over Thanksgiving or Christmas, get ready to pay up. Flights for the holidays will be the most expensive in five years, fare-tracker Hopper said Monday. Average domestic airfare for trips over Thanksgiving is $350, and international roundtrips are going for an average of $795 — both mark a 22% increase compared with 2019, before the pandemic, Hopper said. READ MORE
Ah, the age-old tale of a startup looking to make its mark in the digital commerce space. It’s a story as old as time and has been tried countless times since the advent of the internet. Many attempt, few succeed and even more struggle with acquiring and retaining customers that actually purchase products entirely digitally. READ MORE
THE NEW YORK TIMES
After a haywire summer of flight cancellations and delays, travelers remain eager to roam, returning to familiar hot spots like New York, Europe and the Caribbean. Here’s what they can expect this season. READ MORE
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
The research is clear: Employee recognition — when done well — has huge payoffs. According to the data we collect on leaders across industries, every measure of morale, productivity, performance, customer satisfaction, and employee retention soars when managers regularly provide recognition. And yet, there are many leaders out there who fail to do it frequently or skillfully. READ MORE
As much as luxury apparel brands are mapping out their omnichannel future to tap into changing demographic trends and more brand-engaged consumers, there’s one big blind spot that needs to be addressed. “By , Millennial and Gen-Z Will Dominate the Luxury Market with >70% Share,” stated an investor presentation last week from Tapestry, the holding company that owns the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands, while outlining what it sees as the steps needed to grow its sales to $8 billion for the fiscal year ending in July 2025. READ MORE
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Recent social media posts suggest that the days of clean flights may be going the way of masks. And they’ve ignited a debate about who bears responsibility. READ MORE
Two huge labor disputes, in the railways and at the ports, threaten to re-tangle supply chains in the U.S. And the White House is pushing to avert disaster, engaged at a level not seen in decades. The stakes are sky-high economically. A shutdown of the nation’s rail system could cost $2 billion a day, according to an industry estimate, and we’ve already seen what backed up ports do to the economy. Politically, any work stoppage would spell disaster for a pro-labor White House determined to keep inflation in check and avert bottlenecks. READ MORE
Expedia CEO Peter Kern told CNBC earlier this week that business travelers have returned. During the dark times of the COVID pandemic in late 2020, he predicted they would make a comeback and that day has come. READ MORE
Missed last week’s issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.
- Biden Administration to Maintain China Tariffs While Review Continues (REUTERS)
- Here’s a Who’s Who of SHOW-Offs (TGA)
- The 10 Best Fanny Packs for Every Type of Adventure (OUTSIDE)
- September 20 GSP Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. and New GSP Legislation (TGA)
- The Top Five Trends for Luxury Retail in 2023 (SIA PARTNERS)