Have you ever just stopped to watch the conveyor belts in airports come to life? Amidst all that airport madness, one can’t help but stare at the diverse array of other luggage.   

But beyond the carousel of colors and shapes, lies the story of an industry teeming with adventure, exploration, and a dash of personal style. Be it sleek suitcases or rugged rucksacks, each piece of luggage has a story behind it — a story of evolution, innovation, and change. A world where design meets functionality and where brands meet style!  

The Indian luggage industry is a blend of varying consumer preferences and brand dynamics that has been experiencing a transformative shift. Our experts dive deep into the mechanics of the luggage industry – analyzing luggage preferences among various consumers, brand perceptions, and dealer insights, bringing out a comprehensive picture of the sector’s evolving landscape. Let’s look at some insights from our Redcore team.   

The journey from utility to reflection

Over the past few decades, luggage has been all about durability and basic utility. It was about finding that trust-worthy suitcase that could withstand anything, without pinching our pockets. After all, who wants to shell out a fortune for just a piece of luggage? But as time marched on, so did our tastes. Enter the post-Covid era where style takes centre stage. We now talk about brands that make a statement and designs that turn heads. Think about smart luggage that syncs up with your phone, tracks your whereabouts, and maybe even charges your devices on the go.  

It’s all a part of a bigger revolution: “Personalization”. Your luggage isn’t just a bag; it’s an expression of who you are, where you’re going, and how you like to travel. 

The Consumer Life Cycle: A Journey of Discovery

Let’s unpack what a consumer’s purchase journey looks like in this industry. First up, the ‘Need’ stage: Whether jet-setting for business or planning a dream vacation, or just moving cities, travelers have an inherent need for reliable luggage. Moving on to the ‘Evaluate and Purchase’ stage: When it comes to Gen Z and their first luggage purchase, it’s all about the pivotal moments in life: landing a new job, venturing off to college, or making the leap to a new city for studies. Often, they also rely on wedding gifts or hand-me-downs from the family vault. But when it’s time to make their mark, they crave something that blends style with durability. With the world at their fingertips, they research for various options on Amazon and Flipkart for the perfect bag that matches their vibe. Finally, the ‘Experience & Exchange’ stage: Post-purchase, it’s all about consumers’ satisfaction and happiness. Investing in brands that resonate with travelers’ needs and deliver quality can yield long-term returns. 

From Gen Z to Gen X: Finding the perfect travel statement!

Whether you’re a Gen Z trendsetter, a Millennial, or a Gen X traditional, there’s a perfect piece of luggage out there for everyone! As the shifting styles paint a clear picture of the market, brands are also adapting to meet the diverse needs and expectations of consumers.  

Nobody travels in style better than Gen Z. Tech-savvy trailblazers; these youngsters are all about their online experience. They crave quick delivery, and unique designs, and can’t resist a bit of built-in magic like USB charging ports or smart tracking. They value their brand style and self-expression.   

The Millennials on the other hand are meticulous and drawn towards robust materials and craftsmanship that can keep up with their busy lifestyles. They follow the mantra of quality meet affordability and prefer warranty as an additional benefit.   

Finally, we have Gen X travellers, who cherish tradition. They prefer hands-on experiences, trusting their senses to gauge quality and prioritize warranty assurance.  

What’s interesting is, that when these consumers find a brand that aligns perfectly with their travel needs, they remain committed for the long haul. 

The preferences for luggage bags vary across different age groups. While Generation X individuals tend to favor medium and large-sized trolley bags, which offer durability with multi-functionality features, Gen Z individuals lean towards hard-body, large, or medium-sized branded luggage bags. Millennials on the other hand typically opt for lightweight, medium-sized trolley bags, or cabin luggage striking a balance between functionality and portability. These distinct preferences reflect the evolving needs and preferences of each generation when it comes to the type of travel. 

As each consumer generation has its own set of preferences, the luggage industry is quickly evolving to cater to their need and grab a piece of the market. 

Reclaiming the luggage game one bag at a time  

We are already witnessing a remarkable resurgence in the world of travel luggage. There’s a marked increase in the sales bringing it closer to pre-pandemic numbers. What is driving this change? Revenge Tourism is driving consumers to travel more and spend on quality luggage. But that’s not the only factor at play. Brands are offering competitive and aggressive pricing to boost their sales. A reduction in GST by the government has also made branded luggage more accessible than ever, narrowing the price gap between branded and unbranded models. Additionally, the rising middle class and its willingness to spend more is driving increased sales within the luggage sector.  

Even though multi-brand outlets (MBOs) and exclusive brand outlets (EBOs) are having a tough time regaining their pre-COVID glory, as consumers prefer shopping online, the luggage industry is making a comeback as we know it.

When it comes to new-age brands, catering to Gen Z and Millennials is key. They understand that these consumers crave style and personalization. Whether it’s adding a personalized touch with a name or a pop of color, they’re all about standing out. From modern aesthetics to a trendy and sleek option like having interchangeable patches for covering, they offer options that suit every need. 

The luggage industry stands at a crossroads of tradition and innovation, adaptation, and resilience. As we navigate the post-COVID world, understanding the changing consumer preferences and nuances will be crucial for stakeholders aiming to thrive in this dynamic landscape. With the rise of online shopping and changing consumer expectations, customer-centric strategies will become increasingly vital in capturing a part of this bustling Indian luggage market. 

Looking for more market insights about the luggage industry? Reach out to our Industry expert or subscribe to our newsletter today! 


  • Kanishka is a consultant who specialises in helping clients plan and carry out research that produces insights that can be put to use. His consultancy experience includes early-stage investing, consumer internet, and process modernization for banks.