When Suitcases & More owner David Stoller opened his Scottsdale store in 1985, he knew very little about the luggage and travel industry. He had gleaned some knowledge by helping his stepfather and mother balance the books of their Phoenix travel agency while a finance major at the University of Arizona.
Thanks to a persistent professor, who emphasized the need to diversify, Stoller graduated and opened a retail store at Shea Boulevard and 92nd Street to complement his family’s travel business. In 1985, the location was considered a remote part of Scottsdale. “There wasn’t a freeway and Pima Road ended at Shea,” he said.
Today, the Loop 101 is a few blocks away and Stoller is celebrating 32 years of business at the same bustling corner. He has recently given the store a complete makeover, changing everything except the carpeting and ceiling. “The store has a beautiful, new feeling,” he said.
Along with the store remodel, Stoller has also given the Suitcases & More website a boost. “We’ve definitely increased our Internet presence.”
Suitcases & More offers a limited number of brands from trusted manufacturers, including Briggs & Riley and Travelpro. “We are the largest vendor of two of our manufacturers in Phoenix, which gives us a lot more ability to get products and get things fixed if there’s an issue,” he said. Stoller also vows to never lose a sale to an Internet vendor or from warehouse pricing because he will match any competitor’s prices.
In addition to suitcases, Stoller stocks a full array of travel accessories, including electrical adaptors and converters, GoToob bottles, Eagle Creek Pack-it Folders and Cubes, TSA-approved locks, travel pillows, eye masks, luggage tags and more.
For Stoller, owning a homegrown business also means caring about and supporting local charities. He donates luggage to UMOM New Day Centers for its homeless clients and to Make-A-Wish Arizona for families who travel to Disneyland and other destinations and who may not have luggage.
Remodeling the store was tough for Stoller because he’s admittedly averse to change. He had to give up many of his “beloved treasures,” including his pencil sharpener and Texas Instruments calculator.
The advance of technology may streamline services and make life easier in many ways, but some things never change, Stoller said. “I don’t think there’s anybody else in town with as much knowledge,” he added. “And we’re the one and only luggage store that’s 100 percent locally owned in Metro Phoenix.”
Suitcases & More
9301 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 128