Tony McGuin

SMDP Intern

Travelers who find themselves in need of a place to store their luggage are in luck. A new service in Santa Monica offers travelers a luggage storage option at local businesses through a mobile app called LuggageHero.

LuggageHero has paired with 10 businesses in Santa Monica to offer space for 150 pieces of luggage, including King Baby Jewelry Studio, Native American World, and The Bike Shop. For tourists, visitors, or others who would prefer not to carry around large suitcases, LuggageHero can offer a place to safely store suitcases for a few hours.

“Our entry into the Santa Monica is a natural extension/expansion of the L.A. market,” said Jannick Lawaetz, found and CEO.

“Santa Monica is certainly a lively and popular place, with a lot of foot traffic, so that’s the perfect place for us to set up partnerships.”

Currently, there are four active sites in Santa Monica. One minor setback to launching the service at all 10 sites simultaneously was the back order of the tamper-proof security seals for the luggage. Six businesses have been delayed from using LuggageHero because they have not yet received the luggage tags. However, all 10 sites are expected to be operational in time for holiday travelers.

LuggageHero costs users $1 an hour to store bags, with an initial $2 bag handling fee and a cap of $8 a day (including the handling fee). Luggage is insured up to $3,000.

Lawaetz, describes his experience staying at an Airbnb in Barcelona and discovering he had nowhere to store his bags after checking out. LuggageHero was founded in 2016 after raising $1.1 million, and has rolled out to 38 cities this year. As of this November, there were 25 independent businesses or franchises in Los Angeles county partnered with LuggageHero.

LuggageHero tries to select shops near tourist destinations, major transportation hubs, and areas with high foot traffic. Shop owners who offer LuggageHero services had observed a market ready to be tapped.

“We get people come by with their luggage often. They have a few hours to kill before they go to LAX,” said Andrew Smith, owner of The Bike Shop.

For retailers like The Bike Shop, LuggageHero can be a way to draw in business from people who are stopping by to store their luggage. It can also be an additional source of revenue. Shops are given half of the revenue from the storage of luggage through the app. Lawaetz describes it as a great economy-sharing model.

“The partnerships we form with small shops are the backbone of our business. Working with local entrepreneurs who, like myself, put so much time and energy into what they do, is super inspiring to me and my team,” he said.

American Motel on Lincoln Blvd. has stored a few pieces of luggage through the app, most for a period of two to four hours. The majority of businesses are making use of storage room space to store luggage, but others have more creative solutions. Plaza Dry Cleaners, for example, uses floor space under hanging clothes for luggage storage.

Lawaetz says expansion of the service depends on demand, which is tracked via online searches by customers. Currently, he is keeping an eye on the Pier as a potential site for more luggage storage options.

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