Samsonite ‘Tokyo Chic’ bags removed from H.K. stores
Global luggage maker Samsonite International pulled its “Tokyo Chic” bags from Hong Kong stores this week, following a report from a local consumer watchdog group that detected high levels of possible cancer-causing agents on the bags’ handles.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the company removed the bags from stores after the Hong Kong Consumer Council found higher-than-safe levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, on the side handles of the suitcases.
According to the council, the bags contained about 1,800 times the amount of PAHs deemed safe by Germany. Germany is the only country in the world that has set safety guidelines regarding these chemicals, which have been linked to cancer.
The watchdog group also found high PAH levels in two other Samsonite items.
But the luggage maker rejected the claims on Monday, stating that product safety has always been a top priority for the company and independent testing of the bags found much lower levels of PAHs than what the council originally reported on the 15th.
Asia remains a key and growing market for Samsonite International. Sales in the region jumped by 42 percent last year, outpacing sales in other areas.
Samsonite’s shares fell by 16 percent on Friday, hitting their lowest this year, but recovered following the company’s announcement on Monday that it was removing the bags from stores.
The “Tokyo Chic” line has sold about 250,000 bags since it was first introduced in 2009.