Rimowa: From Heritage Luggage Maker to Modern Luxury House

February 2020

Rimowa has long been considered a luxury brand among the jet set thanks to its high-quality luggage and superior service record. Having been acquired by LVMH in 2016, Rimowa is now attempting to transform the brand from a heritage luggage maker into a full-fledged luxury house by revamping what it sells, where it sells, and how it communicates in a bid to captivate the next generation of global luxury consumers.

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Key Findings

With a proven strategy for scaling luxury brands, LVMH smartly acquired Rimowa in 2016 amid a growing global luggage market

Seeing the potential to scale Rimowa into a global luxury house by leveraging its heritage and owned manufacturing amid a growing global luggage market, LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE acquired the brand in 2016, with plans to revamp its product, distribution, and communication strategies under its new co-CEO, then 24 year-old Alexandre Arnault.

Having raised brand awareness with collaborations, Rimowa is extending its offering to complementary travel goods and services

With a series of collaborations centred on its core luggage offering having enabled Rimowa to quickly raise brand awareness and elevate its luxury cachet, it is now beginning to expand its offering into complementary travel goods and, eventually, services. Already seeing success, one of its first non-luggage products, an iPhone case, quickly sold out when launched in early 2019.

Now retail-orientated, Rimowa is better prepared to meet shifting consumer shopping preference and maintain its luxury cachet

By closing most of its wholesale accounts and launching e-commerce for the first time, in addition to opening new flagships stores and pop-ups, Rimowa has switched from wholesale to retail-orientated distribution in less than three years, enabling it to not only capitalise on shifting consumer shopping preferences, but to also better control its brand image and presentation in points of sale.

In digital and outdoor ads, celebrities are telling Rimowa’s updated brand story

Having modernised its visual identity with a new logo and monogram, Rimowa’s digital and outdoor advertising-first communication strategy uses artists, athletes, and other famed world travellers to tell its revised brand story.

Amid continued market growth, digital native brands will present stiff competition

While continued growth in global luggage will provide tailwinds for Rimowa, it will also face increasingly formidable competition from digital native brands targeting many of the same consumers, but with more affordable products.

 

Introduction

Scope
Key findings

The Journey

Cologne-based Rimowa is a heritage luggage brand...
...with global luxury brand potential, according to new owner LVMH
Limited edition collaborations to raise awareness and brand cachet…
…and an expanded product offering to broaden accessibility
A switch from wholesale-driven to retail-driven distribution…
…to control brand image and satisfy changing consumer preference
A digital-first communication strategy to reach nascent luxury consumers

The Destination

Revamped Rimowa is poised to capitalise on continued luggage growth…
…but will face an increasingly competitive environment as well
Key findings
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