Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Coach stores keep popping up

October 21, 2008

coach.jpgCheck out Coach opening stores.
 
The pricey leather handbag maker saw earnings fall in the quarter and also ratcheted down its sales forecast for fiscal 2009. But that sales forecast still calls for a 10 percent increase from a year ago.
 
And even in what some economists say is already a U.S. recession, the company is moving ahead with dozens of store openings and, in fact, those openings are ahead of the company’s plan, CEO Lew Frankfort said.
 
Coach plans to open 40 stores in this year in North America, 10 in Japan and five in China.
 
“Our new store openings are profitable from the first day,” Frankfort said in an interview. “All new stores are opening ahead of plan.”
 
And that isn’t just because it’s easier to get better terms from landlords as other retailers go bankrupt. Frankfort told Reuters the retail bankruptcies have had no near-term impact on Coach’s leasing arrangements, though the company should be able to get better terms over the midterm.
 
Like other retailers, Coach is also managing expenses. While there is not a hiring freeze, the company is tightly managing recruitment of new personnel through a “hiring frost,” Frankfort said.
 
Ahh, the first frost of the season. Can Christmas be far?
 
Also in the basket:
 
Ferragamo says uncertain on Q4, no IPO hurry
 
Brinker quarterly profit falls on weak demand
 
Owners say franchisers are passing on more costs (WSJ)
 
Fashion trends toward Obama in presidential race (WWD, subscription  required)
 
(Reuters photo)

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