Where to find the best luggage for the most demanding or frequent flyer. Some of us don’t travel weekly or monthly throughout the year, yet we still appreciate good quality, design and engineering. The better the quality of your luggage, the less likely it is to fail during a trip. Nothing is more frustrating than arriving at your destination, business or vacation, and dealing with a faulty handle system, broken wheel or defective zipper. The way to avoid most of this is to invest in a quality brand and luggage where the manufacturer is constantly trying to eliminate the weaknesses in their luggage, which translates to reducing your travel frustrations. The shrinking segment of the luggage industry is the Specialty Store retailer. The Specialty Store retailer carries all the brands that target the frequent fliers / business travelers and usually offers the highest quality of luggage, stepping down to the less demanding travelers, or more budget driven travelers. Most importantly, the staffing in the Specialty Luggage retailers usually have gone through extensive training on most of the brands that are carried in the store and are somewhat familiar with the brands not in their assortments. Most importantly, they are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful in steering the consumer in the right direction for the types of luggage that will meet their travel needs, or their personal desires. In most cases, if there are any issues at all with your purchase, you have an advocate in the Luggage Specialty Store / Travel-Goods Store that will go to bat for you when it comes to a product’s warranty support, or just plain repair support that isn’t covered under the Manufacturer’s warranty (stay tuned for our next blog “warranty education”). Another benefit that Specialty Stores offer over the mass-merchants, department stores, or etailers, is that most of the product within their stores has been handpicked by the owner or management team of the Specialty Store. Usually the person making those purchasing decisions is extremely proud of the product that they offer in their stores or boutiques. The last thing they want is to lose one of their customers over offering them poor quality luggage that will not meet their expectations or fails in the middle of a business trip or vacation. The Specialty Store cherishes each and every one of their customers and relies on word of mouth advertising. There is not a lot of margin for error when operating within these boundaries and expectations. Yes, it is impossible to make everybody happy, but I know for a fact that most of the Specialty Owners and Operators do their very best to insure customer satisfaction nirvana.
When you shop at a Big Box location, you will be extremely lucky to find somebody to attend to your needs, luckier yet to find somebody that actually knows anything about the luggage or travel-goods within their department. I personally have been in a department store’s luggage department for over 30 minutes prior to some random associate walking by and asking me if I need any help. Luggage is always changing and there are many changes in specifications, features and functions that help our industry evolve. If you want to stay on top of these changes, visit your local Luggage Specialty Store / Travel-Goods retailer to see how the travel industry is evolving. BTW, they usually offer many cool items that are not luggage but compliment the needs of the traveler to help make their trips more enjoyable. If they’ve done their job right, you won’t be coming back very often to purchase luggage, unless you are adding to your collection to meet your different travel needs or scenarios. The Specialty Store does want you to frequent their place of business, so they are constantly looking for new and exciting items that will keep you coming back for more.In closing, I know that we have only scratched the surface on how to, and what to look for, when purchasing luggage or travel merchandise. Hopefully I have done a good in pointing you in the right direction to get the perfect luggage for your particular needs. Again, stay tuned for our “Warranty Education” blog.