Roam luggage is opening its first brick-and-mortar location and it’s nestled inside the Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship in Manhattan.
The customizable premium luggage brand, which was launched last year by a team that includes Tumi founder Charlie Clifford, will open a 160-square-foot concession shop on the seventh floor of the store on Oct. 15.
The shop will feature the brand’s complete line of luggage in four different sizes and will allow customers to design their own pieces by choosing the color, zipper pulls, wheels and other details. The line is manufactured in the U.S., offers a 100-day trial and carries a lifetime warranty.
“Lookalike luggage is a thing of the past,” said Larry Lein, chief executive officer and cofounder of Roam. He said that when Clifford was creating Tumi, the idea was to “create a travel uniform” with its sleek, black luggage offerings. Roam, in contrast, is “very anti-uniform. People like to stand out today.”
Roam was tested in May and had a true launch direct-to-consumer in November. The Bloomingdale’s partnership is its first foray into traditional retail.
“Bloomingdale’s was undoubtedly our first choice to launch Roam retail, as it has always embodied a heritage of partnering with innovative brands focusing on top-tier design, craftsmanship and luxury — all pillars on which Roam stands,” Lein said.
The shop will feature two large video screens that will showcase the Roam story and can be used by shoppers to customize their luggage. He said the process will be “very experiential” as customers can swap out colors and styles before deciding upon their perfect match. The pieces retail for $450 and $550, depending upon size, including full customization and will be delivered directly to customers’ homes within five to 10 days and for an upcharge, can be produced even more quickly. For customers unable to wait, the shop will also offer some pre-designed ready-made pieces that can be purchased immediately.
Lein said the commitment for the shop is for 15 months but he expects it will be extended. And he’s hoping it will be the “first of many” such shops around the country, both at Bloomingdale’s branch stores as well as other retailers. Lein stressed there is no plan to pursue a wholesale distribution model.
“Roam is the perfect partner for a luggage shop at our flagship store,” said Dan Leppo, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s and home for Bloomingdale’s. “Their nearly infinite customization options, go-anywhere durability, and Made in the U.S. construction really set them apart from the competition, and fits well with Bloomingdale’s commitment to showcasing new brands and business models to bring excitement to stores and shoppers alike.”