By  on March 7, 2002

NEW YORK -- In a strategic move to present a more integrated brand image to consumers, Coach Inc. is combining its U.S. retail and wholesale business units.

Dave DeMattei, former president of Coach retail, will be promoted to president of retail and wholesale in North America.

Mary Wang, president of U.S. wholesale, will keep her post and continue to direct the department and specialty store business and the corporate sales teams. She will report to DeMattei.

DeMattei joined Coach in July 1998 and has since spearheaded the rollout of Coach's new, more contemporary store format, while also directing the company's retail expansion program. Prior to joining Coach, he was president of J. Crew retail.

"We have successfully transitioned Coach retail over the past years to our new format and what we want to do is to continue to work on wholesale," DeMattei said. "Mary [Wang] has done great job to revitalize the product. There is a great synergy between the two businesses and we want to continue to grow the Coach brand."

The move will not just help leverage regional and local merchandising strategies, he added, but also make the retail and wholesale units more consistent and complimentary. "Combining our principal U.S. businesses, retail and wholesale, will enable us to present an even more integrated brand image to our consumer," said Lew Frankfort, Coach's chairman and ceo. "As our brand continues to gain momentum in the marketplace, the ability for us to develop and execute coordinated strategies across all business units takes on increased importance."

New York-based Coach's assortment includes handbags, small leather goods, luggage and travel accessories, footwear, watches, outerwear, jewelry and furniture. The brand is sold through its stand-alone stores, department and specialty stores, as well as Coach's catalog and Web site, It has 131 first-line stores and 73 factory outlets and plans to add at least seven more stores in the U.S. this year.

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