Jan. 22 - Sales at Coach have now fallen for three straight quarters as rivals Michael Kors and Kate Spade eat into market share. Fred Katayama reports.
Coach desperately needs to bag more sales. The retailer and maker of handbags and other women's and men's accessories saw its North American same store sales plummet nearly 14 percent in the holiday quarter. Fewer customers visited its stores and others were turned off by its move to limit online flash sales. Sales have now fallen for three straight quarters. And Coach sees sales further declining in the second half. The source of its sour performance: its key products - women's handbags and accessories. It's the top seller of those bags, but it has consistently lost market share to Michael Kors, Kate Spade, and Tory Burch. Among the few bright spots: China, where sales grew sharply. Wells Fargo senior analyst Paul Lejuez said, "Remarkably weak results during the all-important holiday season highlight how difficult it will be for Coach to reinvent itself and gives the market little hope that it can occur in the foreseeable future." Investors seem to share his view. Coach's stock tumbled at the start of trade. It managed to gain just 1 percent last year while Kors ran up 59 percent. Coach hopes to turn the tide under a new CEO, who took over this month, and its new design director.