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Coach to Open First Flagship in Spain

The new Madrid store, which bows in November, is indicative of broader expansion in Europe for the brand.

Despite the volatile economy in Spain, Coach Inc. is gearing up to open its first flagship in Madrid this November.

This story first appeared in the June 20, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Located in Salamanca, a district likened to the Champs-Elysées in Paris or Fifth Avenue in New York, the new 3,000-square-foot store marks the brand’s second location in the city.

Coach, which entered the Spanish market in October 2010 through a partnership with El Corte Inglés, operates shops-in-shop in Barcelona, Madrid, Marbella and Valencia.

According to Ian Bickley, president of Coach international, the brand has developed a strong following in Spain, despite the ailing economy there.

“There’s no doubt that the economic backdrop in Spain has been quite tough,” Bickley told WWD. “We entered the market in 2010, and we’ve been building a strong following with local consumers since. We see the brand resonating. We’ve really succeeded in building fashion credibility with influencers in Spain, such as Princess Letizia of Asturias.”

Although Bickley declined to quantify that success numerically, he did note that comparable-store sales in Spain have been positive during the slowdown.

For Coach, the space will give it the opportunity to “express” its DNA by showcasing both men’s and women’s lifestyle collections, which includes shoes, apparel, handbags and jewelry, the exec said.

Designed by the Coach Architecture Group, the store, which is located at Serrano 22, will retain the building’s historic details, such as original ornate ceilings, plaster columns and marble floors.

Inside, shoppers will find a women’s shoe salon and a boutiquelike jewelry area. There will also be a men’s area that will feature an assortment of bags, small leather goods, accessories and outerwear. An LED screen for digital displays will complement the white and black lacquer millwork along with the stone flooring and industrial-inspired furnishings.

“We really see a great growth opportunity in Europe for Coach,” Bickley offered, adding that the brand is making investments in its team, stores and its infrastructure there.

Even though the economy in Europe has seen better days, Coach’s focus on the region is linked to high tourism there.

“If we think about key cities, we are focusing on Paris and on London,” Bickley said, noting that the brand already has a flagship in London, but not yet in Paris. “Paris is the place with the largest tourist population in Europe. We’ve earmarked Paris, Milan and Munich.”