By Tera | April 28, 2010
In March of 2009, an English luggage company, Antler, came to the United States to take on the world’s largest consumer market. This 90 year old company has dominated the European luggage industry for a number of years, creating a vast following of loyal Antler Luggage customers! In just one year, Antler held strong in the very competitive U.S. luggage market, making a name for itself, all the while learning a thing or two about what the American consumer wants and adjusting their products to define those needs. I recently sat down with Andrew Hamilton, Vice President of Antler USA, to discuss Antler’s history, the lessons they learned along the way, and what makes Antler the “perfect” luggage choice.
(TeraSchoeneck) Who is Antler?
(AndrewHamilton) Antler is a 90 year old luggage company based near Manchester, England. We are the #1 Brand in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and #3 in Europe overall. For the last 50 years we have specialized in creating hard wearing, light weight luggage, and that is a tradition and legacy we have brought to the USA.
(TS) When did you enter the U.S. Market?
(AH) We launched in March of 2009, so we have just celebrated our first birthday here.
(TS) What did you learn from the market and what changes were made?
(AH) There is always lots to learn, but when you come to the biggest consumer market in the world you had better be ready to learn very quickly. I guess the thing that stood out was how heavy the majority of US luggage was in comparison to the UK market; the average carry- on bag here is around 10Lb in weight, but in the UK it will average 7Lb. The second thing that really stood out was the growing popularity of 4 wheeled cases here; so we introduced three new lines of 4 wheel cases in the last 6 months.
(TS) Why choose Antler?
(AH) Antler compares to Samsonite or Delsey, who are our biggest competitors. Normally, you will find Antler to be at similar price to one of our competitors but the design and the weight will be different. Antler Cases will be lighter than our competitors.
(TS) Review a product:
Dimensions: 30 x 18 x 13
Material used: Polyester outer material. Aircraft grade rounded handle set for lightness and strength. Carbon fiber rods for lightness and strength. Polypropolene frame. All the impact points on the case have extra protection. The in-line wheels are used for quiet rolling and are inset into the body of the case to protect them against impact. The wheels are slightly offset so the case can carry extra weight.
(TS) What do you love about this bag?
(AH) You can pick it up with your little finger! It’s a huge bag, but it weighs so little. This means that you can carry more in it than you can in a traditional bag of this size. As the bag only weighs 7.3Lb that means you can carry 42.7Lbs of your belongings without going over the airline limit of 50Lbs
(TS) Who is the Typical User?
(AH) Anyone who travels a lot. It can be a leisure or business bag. There is also a carry-on in the line which weighs in at 5.3Lb that I would recommend to any business traveler who wants to carry something that is hard wearing but extremely light.
In the perpetual quest to find the “perfect” piece of luggage, you will come across thousands of pieces that will not meet your needs and only a hand full that will. Many of you will spend hours upon hours hovered over your computer researching, reducing options, researching further, reducing a few more, and comparing prices. I encourage and invite you to look to Antler for your next “perfect” piece of luggage—the perfect blend of design, durability, and light weight.