Luggage evolution over 30 years- blog

Celebrating 30 Years in Business- and the changes that come with it

Capital City Luggage was established in 1986 and since then, there have been tremendous changes in the travel industry. Not only have suitcases changed, but new products have revolutionized the industry.

Since the first wheeled luggage was introduced and patented in the 70’s, suitcases have changed from heavy steamer trunks to softer leather hinged bags that resemble an oversized briefcase on wheels. For families who do not travel much, it’s not unrealistic to find these bags being used as storage in peoples’ basements to this day, still in relatively good condition.

Capital City Luggage opened their first store at the same time as TravelPro’s product developer came up with the worlds first upright suitcase. No more wobbly suitcases, these upright suitcases have two wheels on the back and can be tipped backward to be pulled through an airport. With more suitcases on the market, the call for Capital City Luggage to repair suitcases that were damaged by the airlines was evident. To this day, damaged bags find their way to Capital City Luggage’s Repair center that has been able to expand to 3x its size in the 30 years. Luggage companies have done what they can not to just make a durable bag but a lighter weight durable bag. Since approximately the year 2007, baggage weights have changed, only allowing 18kg on a flight which meant an 8kg needed to be lightened up. In 2000, luckily Rimowa (a German luggage company that came up with Aluminium luggage) introduced the first suitcase made of polycarbonate. This is a lightweight and durable material. The innovation and change of regulations encouraged this to be the direction that most luggage companies were going to go from now on.

Better still, in 2004, Samsonite, re-invented the wheel with a spinner-style case in its signature Silhouette line, marking the first time the U.S. market had seen a four-wheeled suitcase that could be pushed, pulled and literally spun in any direction. Now in 2016, 60% of Samsonites sales are in hardsided bags and 100% of their hardsided bags are made with four-wheels. It is not impossible to think that four-wheeled bags will be 90% of the market by the year 2020.

I am proud to say that Capital City Luggage is embracing the innovation and changes in the industry. For the near future, technical components in suitcases will be more readily available, with e-tickets printed directly on a screen on your suitcase, and battery backups with external outlets to plug into your bag while you sit on a train or shuttle for hours. But won’t it be amazing when someone finally figures out a free GPS tracker for suitcases. We can’t wait to see the changes for our industry for the next 30 years. We are quite thankful to our valued customers for 30 years of patronage.

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