Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Coach just announced that it will shutter 70 out of its 351 North American full-price stores by the end of the first half of the 2015 fiscal year. This aggressive plan is a response to projected double-digit revenue losses for 2015.
The president of Coach's North American retail, Francine Della Badia, explained the decision as part of a larger brand shift. "The overarching objective is to change brand perception from accessible luxury to modern luxury," Badia told WWD. This falls in line with Coach's earlier announcement that they wanted to move away from the "mass affluents" by offering more expensive bags.
The new plan also includes emphasis on a new Coach outlet store model. Two existing outlet stores are slated to close but 10 dual-gender stores will be opening in new locations. The merchandise will change as well—logo bags will be transitioning out in favor of more leather goods and items that better reflect the brand's main RTW and accessories lines.
The current promotional sales model, known to Coach fans as "Coach days," will be discontinued and replaced with a semiannual sales schedule. Outlet stores won't be seeing nearly as many promotional sales either, according to WWD. The brand plans to "de-emphasize promotional pricing strategies [in outlet stores] in order to drive the discount rate down and move ticket prices up," WWD reported.
Coach CEO Victor Luiz was supportive of the brand's projected evolution. "It's not about the next 'It' bag that we're launching or the next 'It' collection," Luiz told WWD. "It's about, at the end of the day, how we evolve the brand over this journey that we are on."