Samsonite India Ltd has earmarked an advertising budget of Rs 8 crore for calendar year 2003. The enhanced ad budget—it is a sharp rise from Rs 3.5 crore in 2002 and nil in 2001—follows from Samsonite’s decision to shift retail distribution away from multi-brand luggage outlets to its exclusive franchised network of Travel World-branded luggage showrooms.
The higher ad budget is also expected to support Samsonite India’s multi-brand strategy. Under this global multi-brand initiative, the company will market stylish Hedgren (already launched) and sporty Lacoste brands (to be launched by mid-2003), besides selling its mainstream Samsonite brand.
The company has still not finalised any plans to create an ad in India. The entire budget—Samsonite account is handled globally by TBWA Worldwide—is expected be spent on media buying.
Samsonite plans to enhance the network of Travel World from 102 this year to 140 in 2003. The exclusive retail programme was intensely launched in 2001 with 30 outlets. Travel World outlets occupy a space of between 400 and 1200 sqft.
Samsonite India expects 55 per cent of its domestic retail revenues to come from Travel World. This calendar year 2001, Travel World is expected to account for 42 per cent of overall retail revenues up from around 10 per cent in 2001.
Samsonite India is targeting a domestic turnover of Rs 80 crore in the calendar year 2003, up from an expected Rs 65 crore in 2002. The company secured a turnover of Rs 56 crore in 2001.
To support branding and visual merchandising at Travel World outlets, Samsonite has earmarked a budget of Rs 1.5 crore in 2003, following an investment of Rs 2 crore in 2002.
Imported soft-luggage brands Hedgren (priced between Rs 700-Rs 3,500) and Lacoste are expected to be major image drivers for the company.