In conjunction with the launch, the South Plainfield, N.J.-based company launched a Facebook contest Tuesday which invites consumers to submit pictures of their jet-setting pets. The contest ends July 8 at 10 p.m. EST.
The Tumi “Pup-arazzi Photo Contest” asks entrants to provide a short explanation of the photo they are submitting and how they travel with their pet. The winner receives a Tumi Alpha Pet Carrier, which retails for $495.
The bag is currently only available for sale on the company’s website, and is currently only available in brown (“espresso”) but black will be added later this week, according to the company.
According to the bag’s description: “If your pet is truly part of the family, he should travel like it. This carry-on size carrier offers comfort and security for air and car travel. Features include removable and washable quilted padding, webbing leash with leather collar, accessory pouch and numerous pockets. Mesh openings on the top and side of the bag for ventilation and visibility. There are two ID tags—one for you and one for your pet. Ballistic nylon; handles with a drop length of 9.25". Espresso is a tumi.com exclusive color; it is not available in stores.”
Although no other pet items are currently for sale on the site, sample pictures for the contest posted on the Facebook page would indicate that more pet-related products will be forthcoming, including a quilted seat cover complete with the Tumi logo.
Tumi isn’t the first upscale brand to carry pet products. Coach has long carried a variety of premium leather leashes and collars in a variety of colors with different stylish charms. Gucci offers pet hats, backpacks and travel bags along with leashes and collars. Kate Spade offers bags along with leashes, collars and dog bowls.
David Lummis, senior pet market analyst for Packaged Facts, predicted last year that the luxury segment of the pet market would experience growth over the next few years. Expected demand for luxury pet products is strong enough to lure companies and even celebrities into the business. Among them: Martha Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres.