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* Coach seeks to become umbrella fashion company
* Acquired Stuart Weitzman, though bids rejected by Burberry and Kate Spade
* Coach seeking to diversify business beyond handbags
Coach is continuing its efforts to reinvigorate its namesake brand. Over the past few weeks, word has spread that Coach Inc. is looking to establish itself as a multi-brand umbrella-company, much like Europe’s LVMH-Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
So far, Coach has successfully added footwear label Stuart Weitzman to its stable. The company though, has been thwarted in its efforts to acquire other popular brands. An informal effort to acquire Burberry was dropped when the latter rejected attempts at talks.
For a while, it looked like Coach might have succeeded in adding Kate Spade to the fold; however, negotiations broke down when Coach offered less than the current market value in light of Kate Spade’s declining sales. It remains unclear whether Coach will continue its efforts to purchase Kate Spade, as news comes that Michael Kors is also interested in acquiring the New York-based women’s brand.
The latest reports come as Coach announced last week that Joshua Schulman will start his new job as President and CEO of the Coach brand in June. Schulman joins Coach from Neiman Marcus Group, where he was the President for Bergdorf Goodman and NMG International. The move has industry insiders wondering if Coach is looking to diversify its business, both in terms of product offerings and reach.
What does that mean for customers? Well, expect to see a bigger push for Coach footwear thanks to the Stuart Weitzman merger, and don’t be surprised if you start seeing more Coach apparel in specialty stores soon as well.