Coach Inc. is well on its way to scooping up more market share in Asia.
The accessories and handbag maker said it has reached an agreement to buy back its domestic retail business in Taiwan.
The deal, which will transition the business over to Coach in early January, allows the New York-based firm to expand in Asia.
“Taking over these markets allows us to continue to solidify our market share and really achieve the full destiny of the Coach brand,” said Ian Bickley, president of Coach International. “Asia is going to be an important market for us to have a very, very strong position in.”
According to Bickley, not including China, the premium handbag and accessories market in Asia accounts for 10.6 percent of the global market in 2011. That is expected to grow by 50 to 60 percent over the next five years.
Coach, which entered Taiwan 10 years ago, said its Taiwanese retail sales totaled $45 million in 2010. Coach’s total sales for the year were $4.16 billion. Currently, the brand has about 10 percent market share in the country with about 24 retail locations.
While Bickley said the Taiwanese deal would not have a “material impact” on financials, it is significant for the brand’s overall Asian strategy, which includes slowly buying back its business there.
The vendor bought back its distribution in Japan in 2001 and in China in 2008. Most recently, it bought back distribution in Singapore in July and plans to buy back distribution in Malaysia next July.
“When we’ve bought back our distribution rights, the number-one principle we always have is that the transition should be seamless to the consumer. We actually work very hard with our partners to make sure that occurs,” said Bickley, who estimated that Coach still has about 20 distribution relations around the world.
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