“Soon, Gen Z and Millennial shoppers will make up the majority of the luxury market, and they will continue to influence the interests of older generations as well,” says Crevoiserat. “Expressive luxury is our vision for this future as well as our heritage, and is at the heart of the accelerated growth strategy we have set out for Coach.” Coach speaks almost entirely directly to consumers, so staying relevant is an existential challenge, she continues.
The company has invested heavily in consumer feedback and ethnographic research in recent years, the results of which have informed this new positioning. According to Crevoiserat, Coach has acquired nearly eight million new customers in North America over the past two years.
Balancing sustainability and growth
The timing of Coach’s repositioning is no coincidence. It’s been almost a year since the brand received intense backlash after a viral TikTok video alleged it was destroying unsold handbags. Silverstein responded at the time, saying that Coach was already working towards the goal of zero destruction of finished goods, but the practice was widespread in the fashion industry. The destroyed goods represented less than 1% of the brand’s global sales, she added. Burberry faced similar criticism in 2018 after reports claimed it was burning unsold inventory and quickly vowed to end the practice.
“At the time, we were already thinking about new circular business models, to solve the difficult problem of giving a second life to damaged and irreparable goods”, explains Silverstein. Just six months earlier, in April 2021, Coach had launched its pilot for Coach (Re)Loved, a circular fashion initiative covering repair, recycling and resale. The initiative was already available in around 40% of its stores in North America, but has since been expanded to 100%, with Asia and Europe expected to follow shortly.
Through Coach (Re)Loved Exchange, customers can bring their unwanted Coach items into the store and exchange them for credit, ranging in value from $10 to $200, depending on the value and original condition of the item. the item. These bags will then be recycled or upcycled and resold. Refurbished bags sell for between $125 and $2,000. Coach says its artisans have repaired or recycled more than 120,000 in North America alone since the program’s inception. Coach Create offers personalization and personalization for customers who want to keep their existing products.