Coach Files Complaint with Japanese Fair Trade Commission Charging Anti-Competitive Practices by LVMH
Coach, Inc. a leading marketer of modern classic American accessories, announced today that it has filed a complaint with the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) regarding LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's (LVMH) harassing and anti-competitive practices in Japan.
The complaint, filed yesterday in Tokyo with the JFTC, describes a pattern of conduct going back over the last year, in which LVMH engaged in inappropriate and threatening behavior by exerting pressure on common business partners. In these examples, LVMH threatened department store management with either not going forward with development plans or pulling the Louis Vuitton brand out of certain locations entirely if these retailers allowed Coach to open or expand shop-in-shops as contemplated or planned.
Coach has decided to challenge LVMH's behavior even though their efforts to impede Coach's distribution in the marketplace have had no material impact to date. Coach believes that fair competition in the market place should be the only way to allow Japanese consumers to decide the destiny of our respective brands. Further, management's sense of fair play does not allow Coach to stand by and permit others to infringe upon the company's rights to trade freely in the market.
The JFTC will now launch an investigation into the complaint, and will render a public decision once completed.
Coach provided a business update last week, raising sales and earnings expectations for the second fiscal half of fiscal 2005. The company noted that sales in Japan would rise at least 27% in constant currency with at least mid-single-digit same location sales growth. This forecast reflects a continuation of the exceptional growth that Coach has experienced worldwide over the last several years.
Coach will present at the Bear Stearns Retail, Restaurants & Apparel Conference, tomorrow, Thursday, March 10, 2005 at 8:15 a.m. (EST). The audio portion of the presentation will be webcast live and archived for a period of five business days and is available to the general public. To access the live audio portion of the presentation, log onto:
http://customer.talkpoint.com/BEAR002/030805a_cy/default.asp? entity=coach (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.) or www.coach.com/investors.
Coach, with headquarters in New York, is a leading American marketer of fine accessories and gifts for women and men, including handbags, women's and men's small leathergoods, business cases, weekend and travel accessories, footwear, watches, outerwear, sunwear, and related accessories. Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, through the Coach catalog in the U.S. by calling 1-800-223-8647 and through Coach's website at www.coach.com. Coach's shares are traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol COH.
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations. These statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “are positioned to,” “continue,” “project,” “guidance,” “forecast,” “anticipated,” or comparable terms. Future results may differ materially from management's current expectations, based upon risks and uncertainties such as expected economic trends, the ability to anticipate consumer preferences, the ability to control costs, etc. Please refer to Coach's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K for a complete list of risk factors.