Coach announced plans on Wednesday to open its first flagship location in Paris at 372-374 Rue Saint-Honoré this fall. Formerly a Hugo Boss store, the forthcoming 6,500-square-foot Coach flagship will join a dense shopping neighborhood already home to the likes of Zara, Sandro and Max Mara. Coach currently has no standalone stores in France, but is available at 14 department store locations, including Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.
In the company's most recent earnings report, released in January, CEO Victor Luis said that the Coach's newest stores -- done to match the vision Creative Director Stuart Vevers has set out for the brand -- are "significantly outperforming" older locations. As of the holiday season, Coach had only 20 of these upgraded stores open globally and shared its plans to open another 50 to 60 in 2015, and to renovate existing locations. Despite this positive news, 2014 was a rough year for Coach: In the last quarter, total sales dropped 14 percent and North American sales dropped 20 percent.
Coach has focused its growth outside of the U.S. on China and Japan, where sales on a constant currency basis grew 13 percent and declined 7 percent, respectively, during the holiday quarter. The company was vaguer about its sales in Europe, where it has 31 directly operated stores, pegging growth in the "double digit[s]." The first European flagship store opened in London in 2011, but has not yet gotten the Vevers upgrade.
Vevers's Paris store sounds pretty luxurious. It will feature a VIP salon, monogram services, a blackened steel and mahogany staircase, hand-tufted carpets, custom-designed cabinetry and vintage furniture. To celebrate the flagship, Coach will release an advertising campaign as well as exclusive merchandise.
The New York brand is marking its 75th anniversary this year and though there may not be much cause for celebration growth-wise yet, this new flagship will allow Coach to better reach the European market, an essential stop on its way to becoming a global lifestyle brand.