COACH TO CLOSE 70 STORES

AMERICAN luxury goods retailer Coach is set to shut down 20% of its stores in an attempt to stop market share loss to Michael Kors. The New York based handbag maker has enjoyed dominating the accessible luxury goods market for decades, but in recent years they’ve faced competition from Michael Kors and to a lesser extent, Kate Spade.
The company will close 70 under-performing North American stores and has plans to revamp its outlet business, according to executives at the analyst and investor presentation last Thursday.

“The overarching objective is to change brand perception from accessible luxury to modern luxury,” said Francine Della Badia, president of North America retail.

Future plans for the stores to take on a fashion-forward concept to match the agenda of Stuart Vevers, the new creative director, are slated to come into effect by early next year, with renovations beginning in November. Two Coach outlets will be closed down, 10 dual-gendered stores will open, and 13 men’s stores will be installed in existing women’s stores.

New Coach outlet products will keep in line with the brand’s RTW and accessories lines, with their main line objective to move away from the signature logo design and offer a wider range of leather goods.

Vevers said that his goal is to “redefine and to reestablish Coach’s unique place in the market.” He noted that Coach “must design desirable products that become icons with our brand codes.”

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