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Getting in Gear

Luggage store sells top labels at big discounts at two locations.

June 12, 1997|GERI COOK | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

One of the most popular gifts for graduation is luggage, based on the assumption, I suppose, that if one graduates one is going somewhere.

Eighty-one years ago Harold Savinar opened a luggage shop, and to insure that the name of his store would stay the same, he named his sons Hyman and Harold. H. Savinar Luggage Co. has been a family enterprise ever since. Although Hyman and Harold are 81 and 76 years old, respectively, both are still active in the business.

They have two locations, one in Los Angeles and the other in Canoga Park, and H. Savinar carries only luggage by name brands that stand behind their product--none of those mysterious labels that some other discounters sell.

Almost everyone is buying "trolleys" (cases on wheels). Because the airlines do not pay for damage in the event that the trolley's wheels or handle protrude, be sure to purchase one that has a set of wheels that do not stick out of the case and with a handle system that is on the inside. H. Savinar has plenty of these.

Because of their eight decades experience in the business and their high volume, Savinar is able to offer excellent prices, along with warranties that carry weight. Samsonite is one name you rarely find at discounted prices, but its EZ Cart, which generally sells for around $285, is tagged here at $149.

Travel Pro, invented by a pilot--and the bag that is part of many a flight attendant's uniform--is on sale for $82, which is about 60% off the $200 retail. This is a carry-on with a removable suit carrier, which happens to be an upright case with wheels.

All Lark luggage is priced with hefty discounts; the 28-inch suitcase on wheels that retails for $390 moves fast at $150. Other brands in H. Savinar's inventory are Hartmann, Tumi, Andiamo, French, Kenneth Cole and Sterling. A five-piece set by the Sterling Collection includes three trolleys, a garment bag and a tote bag and sells for $149, instead of the usual $299 retail price.

Many products for the traveler are available, including those wonderful neck pillows for long flights. In fact, when you make a purchase, the Savinars will present a pillow to you as a gift.

Both stores have a slew of sales personnel, so even though they may be crowded, there's very little waiting. Easy parking, too. H. Savinar Luggage Co., 6931 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park. (800) 877-8683 and (818) 703-1313. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. American Express, MasterCard and Visa. The other location is at 4625 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 938-2501.

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Weekend Super Sale: In Long Beach on Sunday, 800 dealers will congregate and sell everything, including the kitchen sink, at the Antique Outdoor Market.

This monthly sale is one of the best in the country and opens at 6:30 a.m. Admission is $4.50, parking and children under 12 are free, and the proceedings occur rain or shine. Long Beach Veterans Stadium, Lakewood Boulevard and Conant Street, Long Beach. 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

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