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Coach to enter UK via joint venture with Hackett

Classic menswear brand Hackett has signed a joint venture with Coach to distribute the luxury US accessories brand in the UK, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

Hackett will bring Coach to the European markets via standalone stores and shop-in-shops. A London flagship for Coach is expected within the next 12 months, according to WWD.

Coach’s president of international, Ian Bickley, will be chairman of the board of the joint venture.

Bickley said Hackett was a good partner for the brand because the company understands how to retail premium and luxury brands through a variety of formats.

Coach last made an attempt on the UK market in the 1990s, when it launched a store on Sloane Street and a shop-in-shop in Harrods. The weakness of the pound and limited UK consumer awareness of the brand caused Coach to withdraw from the UK a few years later.

Bickley told WWD that the brand could work in Europe now. He said that while brand awareness was still “quite low”, consumers were now “less focused on status” and more interested in value.

Coach has also partnered with department store operator Printemps in France.

Coach said that it would open a 1,700 sq ft shop-in-shop in Printemps’ Boulevard Haussmann flagship in June followed by at least 13 more shop-in-shops in other Printemps stores within three years.

Bickley added: “We’re a company that’s focused on growth, and obviously [Europe] is an untapped opportunity for us. We really see a multichannel distribution approach throughout the key western European markets.”

Coach’s European shops will carry the same products Coach sells in the US and Japan, with a focus on leather bags rather than the logo products that sell well in in Asia.

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