Coach, Inc. (NYSE: COH – News), a leading marketer of modern classic American accessories, today announced that Coach Japan, Inc. will be opening at least three Coach flagship stores in Japan over the next six months, all located outside the Tokyo market. These three new stores are expected to open before the end of December this year, and will be located in Osaka, Sapporo and Sendai, representing, respectively, the first flagship location in each of these important cities.
Ian Bickley, President of Coach Japan, Inc. said, “We are very excited about our three flagship locations slated for later this year in Japan, which will allow us to leverage Coach's heightened brand awareness. In fact, over the last three years, since establishing Coach Japan, Coach has been the fastest growing imported handbag and accessory brand in Japan, recently capturing the number two market share position. Our performance led us to accelerate plans for additional flagship locations throughout the country bringing the total number to six, including our three existing Tokyo flagships.”
Mr. Bickley continued, “Osaka, Sapporo and Sendai are key cities where Coach Japan is targeting to expand and were selected to further enhance and, most notably, broaden Coach's awareness and appeal with Japanese consumers. We remain underdeveloped in these major markets and we believe our growth potential is significant.”
First to open, in late August, the Sapporo Pivot flagship store is a 5,300 square foot (500 square meters) location, facing out onto Ekimae-Dori, and immediately next to the main entrance of the Pivot complex – a specialty mall which houses several upscale international and domestic fashion brands.
In November, Coach's Umeda flagship is expected to open; a 6,600 square foot (620 square meters) store, and the first flagship in Osaka, Japan's second largest city. Umeda is the most important shopping area within Osaka, and the Coach flagship there will be part of the new Herbis ENT shopping and entertainment complex.
The Coach Sendai flagship is scheduled for December. The store will be 6,400 square feet (600 square meters) and will be located on Ichibancho-Dori – the highest traffic generating commercial area in Sendai – the biggest city in Japan's Tohoku region.
All three stores will include two selling floors and will be designed by the Coach Store Design team – the Sendai flagship in collaboration with Eight Inc. Each location will have a decidedly modern feel featuring a sleek, open and inviting format and offering a full selection of Coach's lifestyle accessories. They will also include the key stylistic elements of our other Japan flagships, such as polished stainless steel detail, a limestone facade, white travertine marble flooring and bleached walnut cabinetry.
Lew Frankfort, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coach, Inc., said, “We are delighted with these flagship openings, which together are expected to generate annualized sales in excess of $20 million. Accelerating our flagship openings is a key part of our strategy to grow our market share in Japan, along with expanding highly productive shop-in-shops and continuing to focus on driving productivity through consistent product flow and distinctive newness. To this point, we're also thrilled that Reed Krakoff, Coach's President and Executive Creative Director, was the recipient of the 2004 Accessory Designer of the Year Award, presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) earlier this month, recognizing Coach's consistent fashion innovation, a brand attribute so crucial to the stylish Japanese consumer.”
“Our growing brand strength and rapidly increasing market share reinforce our view that we're still in the early stages of development in this extremely important market,” Mr. Frankfort concluded.