Coach, Inc.

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Coach, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NYSECOH
S&P 500 Component
Industry Apparel, accessories
Founded New York City, New York (1941)
Headquarters 516 West 34th Street
New York City,
United States
Number of locations 730 (July 2011)[1]
Key people Victor Luis (CEO)
Stuart Vevers[2] (Executive Creative Director)
Lew Frankfort (Chairman of the Board)
Jane Nielsen (CFO)
Products Handbags, women's and men's accessories, watches, footwear, eyewear
  • Increase US$ 5.07539 billion (2013) [3]
  • Increase US$ 4.76318 billion (2012) [3]
Operating income
  • Increase US$ 1.524541 billion (2013) [3]
  • Increase US$ 1.511989 billion (2012) [3]
Net income
  • Decrease US$ 1.03442 billion (2013) [3]
  • Increase US$ 1.03891 billion (2012) [3]
Total assets
  • Increase US$ 3.531897 billion (2013) [4]
  • Increase US$ 3.104321 billion (2012) [3]
Total equity
  • Increase US$ 2.409158 billion (2013) [4]
  • Increase US$ 1.992931 billion (2012) [4]
Employees approx. 12,000 (2011)[5]
Coach modern style logo

Coach, Inc. is an American luxury leather goods company that got its start manufacturing small leather goods. Coach is known for ladies' handbags as well as items such as luggage, briefcases, wallets, and other accessories.



Coach store on Bleecker Street in New York City

Coach was founded in 1941, in a loft on Manhattan's 34th Street, New York City[6][7] as a partnership called the Gail Leather Products.[8] Gail Leather Products began as a family-owned business,[8] with six leatherworkers who made leather wallets and billfolds by hand.[9]

1946: Miles & Lillian Cahn join Coach[edit]

In 1946, Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the company.[8] Miles and Lillian Cahn were owners of a leather handbag manufacturing business, and were knowledgeable about leatherworks and business.[9]

By 1950, Cahn had taken over the business and he was running it mainly himself.[8] During the early years, Cahn noticed the distinctive properties and qualities of the leather used to make baseball gloves. With wear and use, the leather in a glove became softer and more supple. Attempting to mimic this process, Cahn created a way of processing the leather to make it stronger, softer, and more flexible, along with being deeper-toned in color, since the leather absorbed the dye very well.[10] Lillian Cahn suggested to Miles that the company supplement the factory's low-margin wallet production making women's leather handbags.[9] The "sturdy cowhide bags were an immediate hit."[9]

Miles and Lillian Cahn bought the company through a leveraged buyout in 1961.[9]

1961–1974: Bonnie Cashin designs for Coach[edit]

In 1961, Cahn hired Bonnie Cashin, a sportswear pioneer, to design handbags for Coach.[9] Cashin "revolutionized the product's design," working for Coach from 1962 through 1974.[9]

Cashin instituted the inclusion of side pockets, coin purses, and brighter colors (as opposed to the usual hues of browns and tans) in the bags.[9] Cashin also designed matching shoes, pens, key fobs, and eyewear,[9] and added hardware to her clothes and accessories alike, particularly the silver toggle that became the Coach hallmark, declaring that she had been inspired by a memory of quickly fastening the top on her convertible sports car.

Due to the success that Cashin brought Coach, they ran their first ad in the 'New Yorker' in 1963.

Business was strong throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Products were in high demand, and under a new vice president for special products, Coach started a mail-order business. They also owned specialty stores and began to sell Coach bags there. Sales increased, and soon demand was greater than the supply. Eventually, Coach would restrict sales to hand-selected vendors.


In 1979, Lewis Frankfort joined the company as vice-president of business development.[8] He was mentored by the then executive vice president, Richard Rose.[citation needed] Rose is responsible for turning the Coach brand into a household name.[citation needed]

1985: Sale to Sara Lee[edit]

Five years later in 1985, the Cahns decided to sell Coach Leatherware after determining they wanted to "devote more time to their growing goat farm and cheese production business called Coach Farm in Gallatinville, New York, which they began in 1983".[9] Coach was then sold to Sara Lee Corporation for a reported $30 million.[9] Lew Frankfort, at the time Coach's senior vice president, administration and retail and mail order sales, succeeded Cahn as president.[9]

Sara Lee structured Coach under its Hanes Group.[9] Sara Lee took over the factories, the six boutiques, and its main store on Madison Avenue in New York City. In early 1986, new boutiques were opened in Macy's stores in New York and San Francisco. Additional Coach stores were under construction in Denver and Seattle, and similar boutiques were to be opened in other major department stores later in the year. Coach also opened mall storefronts in New York, New Jersey, Texas, and California. By November 1986, the company was operating 12 stores, along with nearly 50 boutiques within larger department stores.

1996: Reed Krakoff leads design[edit]

In 1996, under Frankfort's leadership Coach hired Reed Krakoff, who is credited with Coach's success from 1996.[6] Krakoff's design transformed Coach from the relatively small company that it was in 1985 into the worldwide known brand that it is today.[6][11]


In 2014, Stuart Vevers is the executive creative director.[2]

In 2014, Victor Luis is the CEO.[12]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Around the mid-1970s, the company changed its name to Coach Products, Inc.[13] In 1980, the company changed its name yet again to Coach Leatherware Company, Inc.[citation needed]


Lewis Frankfort has been involved with Coach for more than 30 years. He has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coach since November 1995. He has served as a member of Coach's Board of Directors since June 1, 2000, the date of incorporation.


Sara Lee divested itself of Coach first by selling 19.5% of their shares of Coach at the Coach IPO in October 2000, followed in April 2001 with the distribution of their remaining shares to Sara Lee’s stockholders through an exchange offer.[14]


In 1959, Coach introduced its logo.[8]



As of july 2013, there are over 920 Coach stores in the United States and Canada, with more expected to open. In addition, Coach has built a strong presence in the U.S. through Coach boutiques located within select department stores and specialty retailer locations.

Today, Coach’s corporate headquarters remain in mid-town Manhattan on 34th Street, in the location of their former factory lofts.


In 1999, Coach launched its online store at[15]


  1. ^ Coach Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Earnings Per Share of $0.68 and $2.92, Respectively
  2. ^ a b Karimzadeh, Marc (4 February 2014). "Stuart Vevers Ready to Unveil First Coach Collection". WWD. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "COACH INC 2013 Annual Report Form (10-K)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. August 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "COACH INC 2014 Q3 Quarterly Report Form (10-Q)" (XBRL). United States Securities and Exchange Commission. May 6, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Profile: Coach, Inc., Hoover's
  6. ^ a b c Tan, Cheryl Lu-Lien (August 10, 2003). "In the Bag". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  7. ^ DK Publishing (17 August 2009). 1000 CEOs. Penguin. pp. 350–. ISBN 978-0-7566-7057-3. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Pogoda, Dianne M. (September 26, 2011). "Leather Road". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Lockwood, Lisa (September 26, 2011). "The Early Years". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved January 22, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Coach Inc Company History". 
  11. ^ Levy, Ariell. "Brand-New Bag - The man from Coach goes upscale.". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ New York State Department of State. "Entity Information". Retrieved 4 October 2010. 
  14. ^ "FAQ: Coach", Thomson Reuters
  15. ^ "Company Profile". Coach Official Site. Accessed 12 February 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′17″N 74°00′01″W / 40.754734°N 74.00028°W / 40.754734; -74.00028