Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Signs of stability at Coach


coach1Check out signs of stabilizing demand at U.S. handbag and accessories maker Coach.

The leather goods company posted a lower quarterly profit, but said business was stabilizing at its North American stores at pre-December levels. The company has refrained from deep profit-sapping discounts in a strategy that has preserved the status of its brand but hurt sales.

Chief Executive Lew Frankfort said consumers have some optimism that the worst of the uncertainty is behind them and Coach has greater visibility into how shoppers will behave in the coming months.

Coca-Cola also reported a lower profit, but its results met analysts’ expectations. That came a day after rival PepsiCo posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit and offered $6 billion to buy the remaining stakes in its two largest bottlers as it seeks to better control its distribution and cut costs.

Coach head bullish on Obama


JAPAN/Coach Inc Chief Executive Lew Frankfort is optimistic about a future under Barack Obama

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Frankfort said he was confident the new  U.S.  president can help ease the minds of consumers, who spent much less on Coach bags and accessories during the 2008 holiday season than they did a year ago, leading the company to scale back expansion and lower prices.