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Coach drives into UK market

Luxury US accessories brand Coach is to open its first UK store on Friday in west London’s Westfield shopping centre.

As part of its European expansion plans Coach will also open a 5,100 square foot flagship on New Bond Street in Mulberry’s former location in August. The 3,230 square foot store at Westfield will stock Coach’s men’s and women’s accessories and will have two entrances, one designed for each gender.

President Ian Bickley added: “We are today in discussions with department stores in the UK and we will look into opening concessions in the UK in the near future.” The brand is not looking to wholesale the product. Coach has partnered with classic menswear brand Hackett to distribute the brand in the European market.

Bickley said the brand was making a “sizable investment” into the UK market. He said: “Given our innovative and relevant product offering and accessible price points, we’re well positioned for the European market, which represents about 25% of global category sales, and where the stylish local consumer already appreciates our distinctive style and New York spirit.”

In the 1990s Coach made an attempt on the UK market when it launched a store on Sloane Street and a shop-in-shop in Harrods. However it withdrew from the UK a few years later due to the weakness of the pound and limited UK consumer awareness of the brand.

Bickley said the brand had evolved since last time and the breadth of the Coach product offering had grown since the 1990s. He added: “Consumers have evolved as well especially since the global economic climate, they are more conscious about getting good value.”

Coach, which is known for its handbags, will offer products ranging from around €200 (£171) to €1000 (£856).

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