Samsonite to Acquire eBags
eBags has agreed to be acquired by Samsonite International, the travel luggage maker that once employed most of eBags’ co-founders. Samsonite, which started in Denver and is now based in Hong Kong and Luxembourg, said it would pay $105 million for the Denver-based e-tailer of purses, suitcases and nearly any bag imaginable. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2017, pending regulatory approval. Samsonite said in a statement that its purchase of eBags will strengthen its own e-commerce business. eBags will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsonite and keep its name, and its CEO Mike Edwards will continue to run eBags, which currently employs 125 people.
Total Retail's Take: The eBags/Samsonite deal echoes a retail industry trend in which big-name brands are acquiring smaller e-commerce sites. For example, Wal-Mart has recently acquired Jet.com and Moosejaw, and Unilver bought Dollar Shave Club. Traditional big-box retailers are realizing they're not as proficient selling directly to consumers via the web, and they’re looking to gain expertise via acquisition. eBags is known for its exceptional customer service, innovative marketing techniques and wide variety of merchandise. It also was one of the first online sellers to partner with brands with minimal internet presence and, when orders came in, the brands shipped directly to customers.