I detest the term "affordable luxury." It sounds like a car commercial, right? Smooth handling, sleek curves, this many miles per gallon, blah blah blah... Sadly, it's something that many of us are looking for in our lives.
Goods produced with durability and high standards. Design that looks good in 5 years. But not something that'll kill our wallets and make us want to hide credit card bills from our significant others. Be it cars, running shoes, or yes, as a girl...... handbags. So I'll sigh and say that I will acquiesce to the term, with a sarcastic bow, to Coach.
Coach has been around since 1941 -- a tiny, family-run workshop that held itself to the highest standards of materials and workmanship. Coach is the essence of original New York attitude and design. The focus is on simple, ageless styling and durability.
Coach has been one luxury brands that has managed to almost side-step the recession. They realized that instead of cutting prices on the high quality goods they are known for selling, they would introduce additional items at more consumer friendly price points -- "affordable luxury." They pushed hard with their solid and effective print marketing and have built an incredibly well-developed and firm brand image, one that allows them to expand upon the small leather goods and handbags that continue to be the core of their business, and very deftly infiltrate trendier markets with ever-changing styles and color palettes such as sunglasses, scarves, jewelry and small accessories.
Coach has a very long-term and steady vision for what is effectively total Coach world domination. They are absolutely the tortoise in the tortoise vs Hare race, but are proof that slow, very slow, and steady often wins the race. Coach has expanded itself into China and Japan with incredible effectiveness, experiencing significant growth in the global luxury market, while managing to retain control over all its international offshoots.
Coach is not a stock that is going to grow at lightning speeds, but just like the handbags and leather goods that continue to propel it forward, dependable, classic, trustworthy, durable, are the descriptors Coach is banking on.
Trendy, flashy, next-best is of no interest. Coach will water and prune the grass on its own lawn, cause it has stayed green for 70 years.