Coach is riding in style, thanks to the company's leather items and some savvy licensing deals. The company designs and makes (mostly through third parties) high-end leather goods and accessories, including handbags, wallets, and luggage. Founded in 1941, Coach also licenses its name for watches, eyewear, fragrances, scarves, and footwear. The luxury brand sells its wares through more than 1,000 department and outlet stores (in the US and more than 45 other countries), catalogs, and its website. Macy's, Nordstrom, Saks, and others carry Coach items. It also runs more than 1,000 retail and factory outlet stores in North America, Japan, and China. The company acquired luxury shoe maker Stuart Weitzman Holdings in 2015.
Within the North America segment, which represents 57% of its revenue, Coach includes sales to North American consumers through its retail stores, factory stores, Internet, and wholesale.
Its International segment, which consists primarily of sales to consumers through company-operated stores in Japan and mainland China, also accounts for revenue from the Internet, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Korea. Wholesale customers and distributors in approximately 35 countries also contribute to the segment's sales.
Coach operates some 227 retail stores and about 200 factory stores in the US; some 26 retail stores and 10 factory stores in Canada; about 200 department store shop-in-shops, retail stores, and factory stores in Japan; and nearly 220 department store shop-in-shops, retail stores, and factory stores in Hong Kong, Macau, mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Korea. It also sells to wholesale customers and distributors in some 45 countries.
Coach also operates distribution, product development, and quality control locations in the US, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India. The handbag maker generates some 57% of its revenue from the US while China Japan accounts for about 15% and Japan, 13%.
Sales and Marketing
The company's creative marketing, visual merchandising, and public relations teams maintain the Coach New York-style image. Coach leverages its consumer and market research capabilities to assess consumer attitudes and trends. As part of Coach's direct marketing strategy, it taps a growing database of some 28 million active households in North America and 11 million active households in Asia. To spur purchases and build brand awareness, the company communicates with customers through some 1.2 billion emails and millions of catalogs worldwide. It's looking to boost e-commerce sales through its digital strategy, coach.com, global e-commerce sites and programs, third-party flash sites, marketing sites, and social networking. Coach boasts 22 marketing websites in 23 countries.
Coach's advertising costs span direct marketing activities, such as direct mail pieces, media, and production costs. These expenses have increased substantially in each of the past three years. Ad costs reached about $161 million in 2015, up from $130 million in 2014, and $103 million in 2013.
The company's products are sold through more than 1,000 wholesale locations in the US and Canada. Top US wholesale customers include Macy’s (including Bloomingdale's), Dillard's, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor, The Bay, Bon Ton, Belk, and Von Maur.
Coach operates an 850,000 sq. ft. distribution and consumer service facility in Jacksonville, Florida, which uses a bar code scanning warehouse management system. Coach's distribution center employees use handheld radio frequency scanners to read product bar codes. This allows them to more accurately process and pack orders, track shipments, and manage inventory. Coach's products are primarily shipped to Coach retail stores and wholesale customers via express delivery providers and common carriers, and direct to consumers via express delivery providers.
To support its growth in the Asia/Pacific region, Coach operates distribution centers, through third-parties, in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Coach's revenue and profit has stumbled in the past two years. The company closed 2015 (ended June) with a 13% drop in revenue to $4.2 billion from $4.8 billion in 2014. The profit plunge was more dramatic. It fell to $402 million in 2015 from $781 million the year before.
The company blamed lower traffic for a 20% drop in North American sales because of less promotional activity. International sales slipped just 1.4%. Excluding impact of foreign currency, International sales rose 4.3%. In China, the company saw higher revenue from new stores as well as an increase in same-store sales.
The decreased revenue and higher expenses resulted in Coach's revenue drop. Sales, general, and administrative expenses rose about 55% in 2015 from 2014.
Cash flow from operations was $937 million at the end of 2015 compared to $985 million at the close of 2014.
Coach launched what it called a Transformation Plan in the latter part of its 2014 fiscal year. The plan calls for closing a number of stores, opening a number of stores pitched to the higher end, refocusing on higher end products, and scaling back its promotional activities.
The company has closed 70 of its North American stores and opened a few concept stores(12 in North America and eight overseas) in select markets. The company also is banking on growth in China. In 2015 its sales grew about 9% in China, where Coach helps meet the desire for Western designer brands. The company is also thing to take better control of its inventory. The closer its supply meets demand, the less Coach will have to offer discounts to move product.
With the purchase of Stuart Weitzman, Coach hopes to extend its brand from handbags and accessories to include footwear and ready-to-wear.
The plan includes spending $50 million on advertising to raise the consumer perception of the Coach brand.
Coach is facing increased competition from fast-growing rivals, such as Kate Spade and Michael Kors.
The leather goods maker has been looking at global markets to diversify. Coach is pushing to penetrate the European luxury goods market, helped by an exclusive arrangement with Printemps, the French department store chain, and in Spain with El Corte Inglés. It is also eyeing Germany, Italy, Brazil, and India. In Asia, Coach sees China as one of its largest opportunity and is adding new locations in the country. Its Japanese business is where the company counts on its trendy target audience. Coach anticipates an ultimate market penetration of up to 180 stores.
Mergers and Acquisitions
To boost its efforts to become a lifestyle brand, Coach in 2015 bought women's luxury shoemaker Stuart Weitzman Holdings for about $530 million. The shoe company had annual revenue of about $300 million.