Coach Retail Expansion Goes East and West

Coach is growing its retail empire on both coasts, opening a flagship in Beverly Hills and a redesigned New York store, both next month.

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NEW YORK — Coach is growing its retail empire on both coasts.

The $1.7 billion accessories company next month will mark the opening of a flagship in Los Angeles and unveil the redesigned New York flagship at 57th Street and Madison Avenue.

The Beverly Hills boutique, at 327 North Rodeo Drive, alongside designer shrines Tod’s, Christian Dior and Max Mara, opens on Nov. 4. The store will represent the brand’s redefined aesthetic as a modern, clean sensibility, which is being applied to all of the chain’s 284 stores in North America.

Designed by the Coach Architecture Group under the direction of Reed Krakoff, company president and executive creative director, the 3,365-square-foot store has a facade of Spanish Alicante limestone panels and stainless steel with an asymmetrically set door, allowing for plenty of light. The interior features materials such as marble floors from Carrera, Italy; whitewashed sycamore and bleached walnut woods, and a 25-foot skylight.

The store will feature the brand’s handbags, shoes, outerwear and smaller accessories on a single floor. The merchandise will be tailored to the West Coast clientele and exclusive items will be available, such as a monogram frame clutch in Coach’s Signature Optic C fabric, made in honor of the store’s opening.

On Nov. 9, Coach will host a luncheon to benefit Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation and celebrate the store’s opening, at an off-site location in Beverly Hills.

“Being on Rodeo Drive is an honor,” Mike Tucci, president of the Coach retail division in North America, said in a statement. “A new flagship on Rodeo Drive will allow Coach to build and expand on an already-successful market for us in Southern California. Our three existing Los Angeles locations, in Beverly Center, Century City and The Grove at Farmer’s Market, will only flourish with the addition of the new flagship.”

In Manhattan, the firm has worked with the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission to renovate its flagship, located in the historic Art Deco-style Fuller Building designed by Walker & Gillette, where it has been since 1994. The two-tier store, which was two years in the making, has expanded to 10,000 square feet from 6,500 square feet and will reopen on Nov. 18. The third level will be used for administrative offices.

This story first appeared in the October 17, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The facade evokes the original, with the 57th Street entryway adorned with a period frieze that follows the black and bronze aesthetic of the building, which was custom-made. The interior features a curved-stone Venetian plaster staircase, with contemporary treatments of Carrera marble, walnut wood and nickel accents.

Showpieces for the New York store are exotic skins and men’s outerwear, among the brand’s other categories.

“This is one of the city’s great buildings,” Krakoff said in a statement. “Its sophistication and timelessness have inspired our whole team throughout the duration of the redesign. As a New Yorker and an admirer of great design of all eras, I’ve found this project particularly rewarding.”

The New York-based accessories firm has been undergoing an era of growth under the direction of Krakoff and Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer. In August, the company increased its first-quarter earnings projection to above analysts’ estimates after recently reporting a 48.6 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings on a 23.8 percent sales gain.

The firm predicts earnings per share to be at least 25 cents on sales of at least $445 million in the first quarter, with same-store sales expected up in the low teens. The company also projected that fiscal year 2006 sales will reach $2.11 billion — the first time sales would top $2 billion.

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