Family and leisure travel is recovering faster than business travel in the US, fueling sales growth of larger suitcases

Port Washington, N.Y., March 24, 2022 – As COVID-19 cases and restrictions continue to ease in the U.S. and vacation plans commence, travelers are preparing to pack their bags once more. Powered largely by pent-up demand and higher average selling prices, luggage sales revenue was 129% higher in the 12 months ending February 2022, compared to the prior year, according to The NPD Group. Although revenue remains slightly below pre-pandemic 2019 levels, this is a much-needed lift for the luggage market, which lost more than 50% of its sales in 2020.  

“The luggage market is experiencing some tailwinds as we head into a more normal spring break and summer vacation season,” said Beth Goldstein, fashion footwear and accessories analyst at NPD. “Pent-up demand from consumers yearning for travel and experiences is moving from aspiration to reality. Simply put, to fully recover, the luggage market needs consumers to travel, and brands and retailers should be prepared to capitalize on rising passenger counts.” 

The average selling price for luggage increased 19% in the 12 months ending February 2022, versus two years ago before pandemic travel restrictions were in force in the U.S, according to Retail Tracking Service data from NPD. This rise was largely due to reduced promotions, rising manufacturer suggested retail prices (MSRPs), and consumers’ willingness to trade up. Individual hard-case suitcases led most of the growth, with both revenue and unit sales rising by double-digits, compared to two years ago.

Family and leisure travel recovered faster than business travel, fueling sales growth of larger, checked suitcases compared to carry-ons. In fact, carry-on luggage sales fell by 6% over the last 12 months, versus two years ago.

According to the latest NPD Omnibus Survey results, nearly one-quarter of U.S. consumers are planning to travel or take a vacation by air or boat during the next three months. More than one-third plan to do so by car, train, or other ground transportation. 

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