“Accessible luxury” leader Coach is benefiting from the down economy as fashion plates favor $200 Coach bags over $650 Prada purses. The retailer saw comp sales jump 25.5 percent in its third quarter ending June 30, and expects to grow its store count by 16 percent (25 stores) this year. Coach currently has a 19 percent share of the U.S. market for luxury handbags (see chart on left.)
Owners of A-class malls that don't already have a Coach should take note, says Morgan Stanley's Brian McGough. He says Coach could open 100 new stores by 2007, and he has identified 125 A malls, mostly in the Southeast and southwestern U.S., that Coach might target.