EDITOR'S NOTE MAY 2010 | VOL. 35 NO. 2
What We Sell
WHEN CUSTOMERS WALK INTO YOUR STORE, DO YOU THINK THEY'RE actually there to buy travel products? If you said yes, you might want to rethink your answer.
What they really want are travel solutions, gear that smoothes the bumps and travails of travel, that makes it easier to take their belongings with them and makes trips safer, more convenient, and more fun. And, coming away from The Travel Goods Show, the takeaway for me was, Wow — we can sure solve a lot of problems!
The new generation of travel gear goes a long way toward enhancing the journey. Just look at our finalists for the 2010 Product Innovation Award:
RIMOWA's new Salsa Air, which won the first place Product Innovation Award, is a great example of luggage not only getting lighter but getting better in other ways as well. It spells the end of overweight baggage fees, weighing just 8.2 lbs. for a 32" Multiwheel Roller that moves in any direction and is super easy to maneuver down narrow aisles, with tough-as-nails 100% polycarbonate hardsides. It's more rugged, lighter and more maneuverable — what's not to like? Second place went to Traveler's Choice Travelware's Solar-Powered Computer Case, which lets you carry and protect your laptop with the go-anywhere freedom that comes with recharging your portable electronics while staying off the grid. And, third place highlights another big trend — travel transformers! ExOfficio's Storm Logic Jacket is a lightweight multi-tasker that is not only a terrific travel garment, it helps offset the airlines' reduction in creature comforts by converting to a travel pillow for neck or lumbar support.
Any of these items will definitely enhance your customer's travel experience while reducing their luggage load. And that's a win-win proposition, whether you're headed across town or across the globe.
Travel goods aren't just confined to business trips and vacation travel anymore — they're embedded in our daily fabric, helping bridge the distance between home and work, campus and supermarket. This year's Show saw more than 40,000 items on display and most of them were accessories. When you think about it, the average person probably leaves home with at least a dozen of those items: totes, laptop carriers, handbags, cell phone cases, wallets, pens, backpacks and umbrellas. Even if I don't count what's in my purse, I probably have a half dozen travel accessories in my car alone!
The point is, travel goods are everyday goods. And every day is a journey. Which makes every day an opportunity to make an impression on your customers, and that's a wonderful problem to have.