Even with the cool down of China’s economy over the last few months, officials at Samsonite anticipate a growth in sales of over 10 percent this year, up from 5 percent the year before. Mr. Ramesh Tainwala, chief operating officer at Samsonite, recently stated that despite the uncertainties caused by China’s shift away from heavy industry and exports, increasing wages are bolstering the ranks of the middle class and also increasing the demand for travel and suitcases.
Samsonite is not the only foreign company preparing for increased consumerism from the Chinese. With more than 100 million Chinese traveling abroad in 2013, retailers like Burberry and Prada are in a mad rush to hire Mandarin speaking sales associates at their outlets worldwide. Besides hiring Mandarin-speakers, outlets are also catering to the cultural quirks of their Chinese consumers. For example, Samsonite outlets have begun providing scales for customers “to double-check the advertised weight of bags they are considering purchasing”, a habit Samsonite noticed among its Asian customers. Analysts estimate that by 2020 over 200 million Chinese will travel abroad each year, so it will be interesting to see what other kinds accommodations companies begin adopting to cater to their anticipated consumers.