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New Coach Concept Bows at Macy’s

Shop-in-shop is nearly double the size of the brand’s previous installation, which was opened last spring.

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NEW YORK — Coach is going bigger at Macy’s Herald Square.

The firm has opened a 2,000-square-foot area on Macy’s new accessories floor. The Coach shop-in-shop is nearly double the size of the brand’s previous installation, which was opened last spring. Part of a major effort to reformat the women’s accessories hall at Macy’s, Coach sits adjacent to labels such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Michael Kors and Dooney & Bourke.

Coach does a “very strong business” at Macy’s, according to Michael Tucci, Coach president, North American Group, pointing to the anchor of the shop-in-shop — a 15-foot, 2-inch tall acrylic wall with transparent shelving. The brand is employing this new concept for the first time at the department store level — one where the focus is a “free floating space” in the center of the shop.

The brand commissioned OMA, or the Office of Modern Architecture, of which Rem Koolhaas is a founding partner, to design the space in collaboration with Coach executive creative director Reed Krakoff, and the stainless steel fixtures and warm white oak color palette were created specifically for the Macy’s shop. The transparent merchandising concept is a reinterpretation of the original Coach store that opened on Madison Avenue in 1981, but instead of glass, product was housed in wood casing that mimicked a library.

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There are also digital walls and a media band present — a first for the brand — that plays branded content on a loop. With the swipe of a consumer’s hand along the side of the screens, the displays turn into mirrors.

“We’re sitting on a handbag floor and we have a story anchor in bags, but we’re surrounded by strong presentation, small leather goods and outerwear, for a higher level of merchandising,” Tucci told WWD, adding that traffic and sales for this past weekend exceeded projections. Early bestsellers include the Legacy Collection, neutral colored leather styles and silhouettes in magenta, bright purple and turquoise across all price points.

Tucci acknowledged that some elements in the installment come from other Coach flagships — such as the recently opened location at 625 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The concept will also be employed when the company opens a Tokyo flagship next spring, except instead of being inside the shop, the acrylic wall will serve as the facade and entryway.

This is the first of 20 to 30 renovations both Coach freestanding doors and shop-in-shops will undergo this year, although not all will follow the same concept.

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