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Coach is the largest American luxury leather goods company. The company?s rise has been the stuff of legends. A company that began over 50 years ago as a family-run workshop in a tiny loft in Manhattan has now become one of the most profitable makers of leather goods in the world. Legend has it that the founder of Coach was inspired by a baseball glove! He noticed how supple a baseball glove became after constant use. He then worked on the glove and made it softer and sturdier and eventually created the company?s first handbag from it.


The company is as famous for its high standards of quality as it is for its amazing array of products. They have a huge collection of bags to meet different pockets and tastes. They have a women?s and men?s line. Their women?s line includes watches, key chains, silk scarves, hats, jackets, shoes, cosmetic cases, wristlets and more. Their men?s line has a vast collection of briefcases, totes, watches, belts, shoes, ties, and even ipod accessories. Coach also makes mittens, cashmere blankets, dog collars, leashes etc. Coach might make lots of products but their bags are still the company?s main source of revenue.


Their products are extremely well-made and only the finest leather is used in the production process. The company?s leather bags are reputed to use only the top ten percent leather in their production of accessories and these are double stitched at high stress points.

The fact that some Coach products from the 1940?s are still intact and in good condition is a testament to their durability. Their fantastic products are complemented by their excellent service. The company?s customer service policy guarantees the utility of a product by ensuring that any worn out products are repaired. The customer is required to ship the item to the specified location with a brief explanation of the problem and a nominal amount of money.


Coach has widened its stores from just North America to more than 15 countries around the world. Coach has shops located in more than 5 continents and in countries across the world. Coach has been just as successful outside the United States as it has within the country. It competes directly with Louis Vuitton in a number of countries. Coach products can be purchased from a Coach full price-store, Coach Factory store, a department store, a Coach Catalogue number in the U.S. 1800-223-8647, and the official web site of the company.


Its competitors might make equally good products but in terms of profits Coach leads the way. The number of items that are produced for each design are far more than its competitors. The company has also carved out a niche for itself in the market as an ?affordable luxury? goods maker. The company?s more expensive products still cost less than competitors like Prada, Fendi and Gucci. Thus while coming across as a top brand Coach products remain accessible to far more budget conscious people.

Global sales have also been on the rise in the last few years. Its main rival in Japan is the french luxury goods maker Louis Vuitton, the top seller of women's luxury handbags.

Coach has managed to stay one step ahead of the competition with its strategic tie ups which undoubtedly help as much as its famed quality and diverse and vast product range. The company's licensing deal with Marchon eyewear helped it in the sale and distribution of its eyewear accesories. The agreement gave Marchon Eyewear a worldwide license for the manufacture and distribution of Coach?s Eyewear collections. In March 2006 Coach entered an alliance with Simon Property Group, the largest owner, developer and manager of expensive retail real estate. The agreement includes the opening of new retail outlets for the company and the modification and expansion of an additional 10 locations over a period of two years. Some of the company?s highest revenue generating locations are in malls owned or managed by the Simon Property Group.


Coach has always been a company with strong financials and over the years the numbers have just gotten better.

In the quarter that ended in December 2003, the company's earnings increased by close to 50%. Since then the company's profits have only seen an upward rise. In April 2005 the company's sales zoomed by a further 33% to an excellent $416 million for the quarter ended April. This was in relation the same quarter in the previous year. The proportionate increase in net income over the previous year was 53% with an increase in earnings per share by 51%. The modification and expansion of existing stores along with the development of several new stores has ensured the company achieves these solid figures. Coach managed to continue these excellent figures in the next six months. The sales for the year 2006 are expected to soar to a record $2.3 billion.


Coach may be amongst the most profitable and fast growing luxury bag makers in the world but there are lots of difficulties ahead. Counterfeit sales is a tremendous problem. Fake bags and accessories worth billions of dollars are being made in China and other developing countries. Some of these imitations are a lot similar to the original product and are extremely difficult to detect. Most countries don?t even have strict laws regarding counterfeit production. Even in countries where laws exist it becomes difficult for the authorities to deal with knock-offs on such a large scale. In New York some luxury goods makers are employing attorneys and private detectives to hunt down bootleggers. Piracy is not the only problem. Companies also have to be very careful that their latest ideas stay within the firm. Its very easy to steal designs from a corporation and sell them to outsiders since so many hi tech electronic gadgets are available. Coach also needs to maintain its marketshare from other big rivals. It will have to work really hard to keep its revenues and profits growing at the sustained pace that they have maintained over the last few years.