Mumbai, Aug 13 (PTI) Travel gear maker Samsonite is targeting 25 per cent of revenues from online sales channel in the next five years leveraging on its e-retail platform planned for launch next year, a top company official has said.

“In India, online sales contribution is 8 per cent whereas on a global scale, approximately 9 per cent is the online sales contribution. It is expected to grow to 25 per cent in the next five years with the help of eBags, an e- retail platform specialising in luggage. We intend to launch eBags in India in 2018,” Samsonite President, Asia Pacific, Subrata Dutta told PTI.

The US-based company will be expanding in the offline market as well and plans to add 50 stores this year to take its count over 400 in the country as it eyes a growth of 12-15 per cent in sales.

“At present, we have over 350 stores in India. We plan to open additional 50 stores by the end of this year. We are expecting a 12-15 per cent growth in sales. This will be in line with our past growth trends,” he said.

The company, which sells Samsonite, American Tourister brands among others, had clocked a revenue of Rs 2,400 crore in MRP value terms for 2016. American Tourister contributes around 70 per cent of the revenue in the country.

The company gets 60 per cent of its turnover from metros and tier I cities and sees opportunity in the lower tier cities.

Samsonite’s product range includes luggage bags, backpacks, duffel bags. Dutta said the company sees huge potential in the womens handbag space with its brand Lipault.

“The big opportunity in India lies in converting the large unbranded market to branded, reaching out to the customers in smaller towns and being relevant to travellers beyond air travellers,” he said.

“We see womens category as a future growth driver, with our womens hand bag brand Lipault in particular, he added.

Travel products, which include trolley cases in soft and hard material comprises 65 per cent of the company’s business in the country, while the non-travel products like backpacks, laptop briefcases, duffels and totes account for the remaining 35 per cent of the business.

The Indian luggage industry is estimated at approximately Rs 12,000 crore, of which the branded market at retail value is Rs 6,000 crore. Samsonite enjoys close to 40 per cent market share in the branded segment.

India contributes approximately 5 per cent to the overall group’s turnover and is fifth globally after the US, China, Korea and Japan.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.