“We are very much e-commerce, digital people that stumbled their way into physical retail,” he said.
But the move to physical retail is working. Not only do the shopfronts give customers a chance to touch luggage products, which carry a lifetime warranty, they also let shoppers indulge in the excitement of an upcoming trip.
“Coming into a store is an experience. It’s about you, it’s about your holiday. People spend an hour in the store just chatting about their holiday and where they’re going,” Didaskalou said.
The business says revenues have rocketed since travel came back, and the group is aiming for annual revenues of $150 million.
While spending is slowing compared with its post-lockdown peaks, consumer surveys suggest wealthier Australians are still planning trips and are not afraid to splash cash while they travel.
The most recent quarterly consumer survey from UBS shows high- and middle-income earners were still able to fund holidays through savings.
Meanwhile, July’s social media following suggests that even if people aren’t planning trips, they’re happy to daydream – the group’s Facebook and Instagram channels grew by 600 per cent year-on-year between 2021 and 2022, and the brand now speaks to 97,000 followers on Instagram.
As it grows, July is on the hunt to snatch market share off household names such as Samsonite, which owns close to a quarter of the global suitcase market. Didaskalou says these legacy brands haven’t been keeping up with the technology and style travellers want.
“They have been sitting around and not listening to their customers, not engaging with the fashion component of what travel is,” he said.
July will have plenty of opportunity to see how customers use its products in the wild in coming months, as its team travels to open new stores in Australia and overseas.
“Two to three stores per major city makes sense in Australia,” Didaskalou said.
Beyond Sydney and Melbourne, the group also sees opportunities in Queensland, London and New York.
With millions of passengers flowing through airports each month, there are also plenty of opportunities for market research. The group has internal benchmarks for “carousel share” – they’re tracking how often July cases are visible at a luggage collection point.
The business, named after the month when many Australians try to escape winter for the European summer, is aiming to connect with shoppers on a deeper level when they come to shop in person.
“It’s great to get people through, chatting about their trip, getting excited about their holiday,” Didaskalou said.
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