started as an artisan leather company, marketing to the discerning consumer seeking quality and craftsmanship. The Manhattan base company defined "accessible luxury" to the US and now to the world. Available in over 1000 direct stores and through big name retailers, Coach is a symbol of quality and status, presented with pride. Quality products, customer service and value, Coach has set a standard of high quality and fair pricing, and opened the door for designers to branch into a fickle market. .
With prices considerably lower than other known luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, and Prada, Coach has become a powerhouse in the high end handbag and accessory market. Luxury items are the wishes of lady's and trendy hipsters as a symbol of status. The average price of the high end luxury items is around $2,000 while Coach handbags average around $350 [CITATION Tre14 l 1033 ]. In order to stay competitive, Coach has branched out to an extensive line, offering quality in shoes, belts, menswear, outerwear, jewelry and other accessories. Coach recognizes the mounting competition from brands such as Kate Spade and Michael Kors, in the US, and has implemented a three-fold strategy; "Transformation to a lifestyle brand, increased global distribution and improved store sales productivity" [ CITATION Coa l 1033 ]. Part of the sales strategy includes quality customer service, an excellent warranty and return plan and outlet options for sale and discontinued items.
The biggest challenge that Coach Inc. is facing is the threat from competitors, primarily Kate Spade and Michael Kors, but also the higher end brands previously mentioned, adding footwear powerhouse Christian Louboutin to the mix. In 2011 Coach Inc. had 19% market share, 2012 they had dropped to 17.6%. Couple that with a drop of 13.6% store sales in 2014 as well as a gross profit drop of 9%.[ CITATION Tre14 l 1033 ] In comparison, Michael Kors' 2014 2nd quarter earnings report.