Industry Execs React to Coach Inc.’s Rebrand as Tapestry

In Industry Experts, What's New, Industry News by Ann Loynd

Earlier this week, Coach Inc. announced it would be re-branding its portfolio under one umbrella, called Tapestry. The move is designed to encompass the company’s recent acquisitions (including Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman) and pave the road toward a larger, multibrand portfolio in the luxury space. Leading e-commerce consultants and retail analysts weigh in on the move, which all-in-all they view as a smart shift…except for, perhaps, the name itself.

“Coach is in an interesting place as a parent company. For the past 5 years, their only increase in sales was in 2015 immediately after acquiring Stuart Wiseman. Handbag sales, which are the company’s bread and butter, have been flat or declining over the past few years and it has created a growth challenge for the company as a whole. With the Kate Spade acquisition still in progress, and its stock suffering from a drop over the past month, it seems like an untimely announcement, and may serve more as a distraction than a growth driver in the short-term. That said, Coach is an iconic brand, and renewed focus on elevating the public image of that brand it could ultimately serve to make its previous brand acquisitions more valuable on the whole. As a brand name itself, the word Tapestry itself has ‘old’ connotations and won’t appeal to millennials looking for luxury items that differentiate them from traditional retail items. They won’t see ‘Tapestry’ and imagine a piece of art with all parts working together; it will instead conjure up images of a patchwork quilt.”
– Lee Holman, Lead Retail Analyst, IHL

“Among some very compelling internal competition, Victor Luis was chosen for the Coach CEO role in particular because of his prior background with luxury (LVMH and Baccarat) and the clarity of his vision for transforming Coach into a global holding company of affordable luxury.  Since January of 2014, he has remained true to his transformative vision as demonstrated with some key decisions: the hiring of luxury designer Stuart Vevers to lead creative for the Coach brand, the enhancement of the overall brand image by reducing Coach’s presence and discounting in department stores, and more recently, with the acquisition of the brands Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman – brands with similar pricing structures, quality levels that enhance the overall Company offering. In June, Coach appointed a new Brand President and CEO, Joshua Schulman, which frees up Mr. Luis to focus on the broader Company and its growth strategies. Brand consolidation has significant benefits, not the least of which are Real Estate negotiations, leveraging in-common corporate infrastructure and services, and streamlining of supply chains. The decision to rebrand Coach, Inc. to Tapestry is not just a name change, it is a required step so that investors see the Company, and Mr. Luis as the CEO, as an emerging powerhouse of Brands.”
– Jon Bierman, President and Chief Revenue Officer, PlumSlice

“While it doesn’t have an impact to consumers, it’s great that retailers are focused on giving value to shareholders, a broader brand focus will allow them to compete more competitively with other high-end retailers.”
– Roland Gossage, CEO, GroupBy

“Coach has been focused on expanding its brand for some time now. Creating a new corporate identity to house their growing catalog of brands allows the company to spread their reach further into the direct-to-consumer space. This move also showcases the further trend of how brands are looking to stay relevant and continue to reinvent themselves as consumers show continued desire to have direct relationships with their favorite brands. With this rebranding, Tapestry is giving each brand within its portfolio the opportunity to shine as a standalone, without being overshadowed by the traditional ‘Coach’ branding.”
– Tushar Patel, CMO, Kibo

Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing Picks His Top 9 Items from Fashion Month
Feminine Accessories Grace New Erdem x HM Capsule