Coach and Michael Kors luxury brands are both doing a bit of revamping in an attempt to increase the exclusivity of their brands. What that means for consumers is that those looking for discounts on the designer purses and other items may find themselves at a loss.
Brands like Coach and Michael Kors were once pretty exclusive, and not just anyone could own the luxury handbags and other products marketed initially for the elite. As popularity has increased for the designer fashion labels, their actual exclusivity has dwindled. That wasn’t helped when the brands began popping up in middle-class department stores that are shopped by the masses.
In order to get their brands back to exclusive status, the Washington Post reports that Michael Kors discounts will be a thing of the past. While the brand will remain in many department stores, they will be insisting that their products not be a part of sales or promotions that will diminish their value.
On the other hand, Coach discounts are also on their way out. To bring their brand back to exclusivity and remain what is considered a luxury, Coach will be pulling their products from more than 250 department stores. Michael Kors brand plans to just reduce their presence in those stores rather than remove their products altogether. The inventory reduction is said to be taking place in February of 2017.
The decision to eliminate Michael Kors sales and promotions came about during the last quarter when Kors chief executive John Idol said that brands such as theirs were having a hard time retaining exclusivity due to department store promotions that were driving the cost of their items down. Additionally, store managers were under pressure to match discounts seen in other stores throughout malls, which was causing the value of the brand to drop.
Coach discounts and sales were also causing consumers to rely on the lower prices and, therefore, were making the brand lose value in the eyes of consumers. Coach chief executive Victor Luis said recently that their products initially were placed in department stores in order to give consumers a taste of their brand and to tempt them to come back for more products. The problem now is that consumers are looking for Coach discounts and deals in the department stores and are ignoring the exclusive retail stores who often boast different products and higher prices.
The goal is to eliminate Coach and Michael Kors discounts and to sell fewer products but at a higher price point. This will return the brands back to their luxury status. Both companies are looking to position themselves as upscale brands, not department store discount brands that anyone and everyone can own.
In order to counteract the idea that Michael Kors discounts and sales are what keep the brand viable, more than 200 stores have been opened in the last year. This brings the number of Kors stores to just over 770 as the luxury retailer scrambles to rebrand themselves and remain a part of the upscale fashion market, rather than giving in and mass marketing their handbags, accessories and other items.
Coach is already doing well when it comes to their own stores. The issue is that Coach discounts at department stores have caused consumers not to seek out their products in the boutique stores where prices are often higher. By removing their goods from places like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and other mall retailers, those who want to carry a Coach purse will be forced to purchase them from specialty shops, causing the company to retain its status as an exclusive luxury brand.
[Image via SPERA.de Designerschuhe, Taschen und Accessoires from Deutschland | Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]