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  1. #1
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    seatac airport store would be awesome

    not sure which forum is most appropriate, but this one prob gets most views.

    seatac airport (seattle/tacoma) is prob top of market retail cost per foot, but wouldn’t a seatac airport store be awesome? just the marketing value alone might make it pencil out tho. they’d be capturing people at their most frustrated travel time and most susceptible to seeing the true value of well designed bags and accessories.

    even if didn’t result in in-store sales if they had a way to make people remember their name and maybe some sort of unique code for special offer with first purchase (maybe something like 1/2 price shipping) they could track the effectiveness of the store.

    i live less than 100 miles from store but still haven’t made it there, but i’m at seatac at least a dozen times a year. it crosses my mind every time how great a tb store would be there.

  2. #2
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    I've seen luggage stores at airports before, but it has never made sense to me--when I'm at the airport my bags are already packed, so I'm not in the market for luggage then. It must make financial sense to some brands, though, or they wouldn't do it. So this comment is me being curious how and why it works. Would you buy luggage at an airport? Why?

  3. #3
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    i see your point, but perhaps a brand such as tb, which to many is a whole system(maybe even lifestyle),when seen at the right time (stressful travel) might leave an indelible impression. so even if not immediate sales, hopefully a seed planted that they think about the rest of their trip. perhaps a lofty strategy, but something
    i would definitely try if i were them and if i were wanting to grow. that said, based on them always seeming to be operating beyond capacity and not wanting to grow anything other than slow, might be an unwanted growth opportunity.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I've seen luggage stores at airports before, but it has never made sense to me--when I'm at the airport my bags are already packed, so I'm not in the market for luggage then. It must make financial sense to some brands, though, or they wouldn't do it. So this comment is me being curious how and why it works. Would you buy luggage at an airport? Why?
    People generally buy luggage at an airport when they've had a luggage disaster. They've just arrived and their bag didn't quite make it in one piece. Or they're departing and they've been told their stupidly huge suitcase is too heavy and needs to be repacked, or they have too much carry-on, and need something sturdy enough to be checked.
    A30 in original halcyon/wasabi. Side Kick in verde/northwest sky and cloud/viridian, Pop Tote in Mars Red, Travel Cubelet in Mars Red, A30 packing cube backpack in northwest sky, large travel tray in sitka, packing cubes, pouches and cubelets

  5. #5
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    i bought my last suitcase at a brookstone at an airport. i was en route home from st. louis where i bought more ribs than would fit in my suitcase and was carrying the overflow in some shopping bags that started falling apart. i gladly forked over the dough to save the hassle of what my day was turning into.

    now that suitcase is more or less retired and i’m 4 months into having my first tom bihns... an a45 and a s19. the aeronaut has been to mexico twice, las vegas and california 4 times. and every time i pass through seatac i realize how close i am to tb, but have yet to visit because i’m only ever in the city of seattle on weekends when they’re closed. there are lots of accessories and other bags i’d like to see before i buy and a more convenient showroom would make those purchases much more likely.

  6. #6
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    Hi @deuxcv,

    This is an interesting idea. I'll share a few tidbits from the About Us page that I imagine may reflect TOM BIHN's perspective on the idea of an airport store.

    Working Together in Seattle

    All 47 of us here at TOM BIHN — design, manufacturing, shipping, customer service, photography, web team — work in the same 16,000 square foot location. We collaborate, problem-solve and innovate in ways that are only made possible by sharing the same space. We think this results in a better bag for you, and it’s more fun for us too.
    Our Own Way

    Our company is big enough that we can do cool things like develop our own fabrics while small enough that it still feels like we’re one big family. Our capacity is limited and we don't have plans to significantly increase it.
    As I read this, and as I also reflect on the philosophy of TOM BIHN and what I have had the privilege to see them do over the years, I don't know that they would want a retail store front at an airport.

    I think they have a clear vision of what they want to do -- and at least at this time, that includes being in the common physical space and producing at a capacity that resonates with a desired approach to running the company.

    Also, I imagine that airport retail store responsibilities would probably not be as fun as the party that is the "design, manufacturing, shipping, customer service, photography, web team" happening every day at the factory store!

    For a perspective of operating a retail presence in an airport, here is a fun read -- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/01/b...n-airport.html.
    -m

  7. #7
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    that’s an interesting article and raises good points including exposure. the unique and targeted business of tb makes an airport an ideal marketing bed. in the retail world a location with high high double digit percent of customers being your target market has to be some sort of unicorn. that said, i do understand tb’s approach to growth and doing things their way, which overrides all. so this idea is strictly posed from a naively informed non stakeholder’s perspective / “wishlist”.

  8. #8
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    that 47 employee number strikes me as interesting. as a similar size business owner, 50 employees (or more accurately 50 full time equivalent employees ) is a magic number when it comes to raising the bar on some very expensive benefits, most notable the affordable care act mandates. crossing that line is a critical and expensive decision that you need to be really committed to and ready for as it’s a huge change of cash flow and profitability. don’t know at all if that’s related to their employee count, but certainly a factor in mine. when i go past the 50 fte employee mark it will be with a calculated bigger growth spurt in mind, not just small incremental growth.

  9. #9
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    There's a new shop at Seatac that sells a variety of bespoke Seattle-made stuff. It would be amazing to see, say Travel Trays or keystraps there...
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flitcraft View Post
    There's a new shop at Seatac that sells a variety of bespoke Seattle-made stuff. It would be amazing to see, say Travel Trays or keystraps there...
    How does that work? Do people order their bespoke items in advance and then pick up at the airport, or order at the airport and have the things shipped once they're made, or what? The idea could be neat but I'm really puzzled about how it would work. (Though it occurs to me that maybe "bespoke" wasn't what you meant--if you meant "handmade" or something along those lines, I'm no longer confused and it would still be a neat idea.)

  11. #11
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    Yup, busted! Bespoke was a 'mis-spoke'; I really meant something like 'artisanal.' What I liked about the shop was that it is a great way to introduce travelers to products made in the Seattle area that they might not have known about. Obviously most small 'makers' don't have the wherewithall or even the desire to stock a full shop, but they might gain consumer awareness by having some of their small, unique items showcased in this way.

    Honestly, I think Travel Trays are so wonderfully unique that it's a shame most people don't know anything about them. I've given away probably a dozen or so myself and I think currently I have two large and four small at home and in my office...
    Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.

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