Baron Funds Comments on Tumi Holdings
Tumi Holdings, Inc. (TUMI) is a purveyor of premium luggage, business bags and accessories offering innovative, functional and durable products.Though the company has been around for over 30 years, with a strong heritage, new management has recently revitalized the brand and increased its profile, in our view, has established the company as a global lifestyle brand with significant growth opportunities and a long runway.The company started as a wholesaler to department stores and specialty stores, but has successfully transitioned to rolling out its own retail stores. It now has 100 stores globally with the potential to more than triple its store base and increase the productivity of existing stores. We think that international sales can increase meaningfully. And, Tumi is leveraging its strong position in travel related goods by introducing new products in additional categories such as accessories and women's bags. This all adds up to a company that we believe can grow earnings at well over 20% per year for the foreseeable future. The stock went public to great fanfare, but fell to a more reasonable valuation as international economies slowed and near term growth was questioned.We used that opportunity to build our position.