Coach Inc.: All Eyes on China

Sept. 16, 2009
Handbag and accessories company turns its attention to growing foreign markets, particularly in Asia

By the end of its 2010 fiscal year, Coach Inc. expects to open 15 stores in mainland China as part of the company's growth efforts in the region.

In addition, the company plans to open 10 locations in Japan and 30 international wholesale operations throughout the year, said Chairman and CEO Lew Frankfort when Coach announced its fourth-quarter earnings on July 28.

"As we've noted previously, fiscal 2010 will be another investment year for Coach as we continue to build the foundation for future long-term growth," Frankfort said. "Most importantly, we will be implementing our strategy to aggressively grow sales and market share in China. Clearly, brand-building activities and distribution growth at this critical juncture will lay the foundation for a substantial contribution from these businesses in the future."

In May, the company appointed Andre Cohen as president of Coach China. Cohen, who is based in Hong Kong, joined the company in February 2008 as senior vice president of Coach International. He previously worked as the managing director for The Timberland Co.'s Asia Pacific division where he was responsible for brand development and business in the region.

At the time, Frankfort said the company is "focused on accelerating growth in this emerging region for luxury accessories."Over the longer term, Coach plans to open 50 additional locations in China during the next five years.

"Coach is a brand that is emerging as a leader in the handbag and accessories market in China," said Cohen when he was named to his new post. "The company has tremendous momentum, a clearly articulated vision and well-defined strategies in place for continued growth in the region."

Coach Inc.
At A Glance

Coach Inc.
New York, N.Y.
Primary Industry: Apparel
Number of Employees: 12,000
2008 In Review
Revenue: $3.23 billion
Profit Margin: 24.62%
Sales Turnover: 1.40
Inventory Turnover: 2.43
Revenue Growth: 21.75%
Return On Assets: 31.97%
Return On Equity: 40.99%
The company also introduced the Reed Krakoff label when announcing its year-end results. The Reed Krakoff luxury line was named after the company's president and executive creative director. Coach plans to launch the line in the fall. Reed Krakoff will feature all women's categories, including handbags, footwear and jewelry.

On Sept. 15 Reuters news service reported that the company named Prada executive Graziano de Boni president of Reed Krakoff. De Boni has served as president and CEO of Prada USA since mid-2008, according to Reuters.

In other personnel moves, the company's board of directors extended Frankfort's contract for an additional two years through 2013. Frankfort has served as CEO of Coach since November 1995.

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