Coach Inc. on Wednesday acquired the Coach retail businesses in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China from its distributor, the ImagineX Group, which has owned the operations since 2003.

The move gives Coach control of its distribution in the region, which includes 24 retail locations among the three areas. The agreements provide for a phased buyout over the next year.

The acquisition comes during a pivotal time for the brand as it opens its Hong Kong global flagship on Queen’s Road Central this week. Over the next five years, Coach expects to open more than 50 units in the region and see sales of more than $250 million.

Thibault Villet, Coach’s president of Greater China, will lead the operations.

“Over the past several years, we have enjoyed an excellent partnership with the ImagineX Group,” said Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer of Coach. “They have been instrumental in the initial development of the Coach brand in this region, including the opening of several important locations in key retail venues in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.”

Frankfort added that, under Villet’s leadership, “we’re now building an on-the-ground team and deepening our insights into the Chinese consumer.”

Coach will acquire the assets, including fixtures and inventory, of its current stores, while ImagineX will continue to provide support services in areas such as distribution, logistics, human resources, accounting and payroll following the transition.

For more, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.

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