Coach Inc

1759 Words8 Pages
1) 1. What are the defining characteristics of the luxury goods industry? What is the industry like?

A luxury brand may have profound influence on an overall product strategy since its position may determine how the company is going to make its next step. A luxury brand like Coach epitomizes elegance and combines classic beauty with modern design. According to John E. Gamble, not only has Coach become one of the most respected and known brand names in the ladies’ handbags and leather accessories luxury brand industry, it is also one of the most best-selling luxury brand companies in the world, with net sales reaching 2.1 billion in 2006 (Gamble). When a company like Coach decides to set up a product strategy for the next season, the
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3) 3. How is the market for luxury handbags and leather accessories changing? What are the underlying drivers of change and how might those driving forces change the industry?

In the current luxury handbags and leather accessories market, any competing company faces two sets of challenges in continuing the development of its business and succeeding in growing its market share. First, when Coach, Inc. was founded in 1941, it was a small family-owned handbag business in New York City. After 44 years of family management with a steadily set price 50% lower than more luxurious brands, Coach was sold to Sara Lee. Coach continued to grow rapidly until the mid-1990s. Then, in an abrupt change of events, consumers quit purchasing Coach’s handbags in order to focus on French and Italian brands, such as Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. The company’s market share fell from 40% to a tragic 5%. Reed Krakoff, the top Tommy Hilfiger designer, was hired by Sara Lee to save the business that had more than half a century’s worth of history. In the beginning, Reed did the extensive consumer surveys and held focus groups to get the information of styling, comfort, and functionality preferences. After doing consumer surveys, Reed found that customers wanted handbags with edgier styling, softer leather, and leather-trimmed fabric. After six months, Coach launched redesigned, brand-new handbags

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