Coach, Inc

Coach, Inc.
Traded as 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 Lewis Frankfort (CEO)
Reed Krakoff (President and Executive Creative Director)
Jerry Stritzke (COO)
Jane Nielsen (CFO)
Products Handbags, women's and men's accessories, watches, footwear, eyewear
Revenue Increase US$3.23 Billion (FY 2009)[2]
Operating income Increase $977 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Net income Increase $623 Million (FY 2009)[2]
Total assets Increase $800 Million (FY 2009)[3]
Total equity Increase $1.70 Billion (FY 2009)[3]
Employees approx. 12,000 (2011)[4]

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 was founded in 1941, in a loft on Manhattan's 34th Street, New York City[5][6] as a partnership called the Gail Leather Products.[7] Gail Leather Products began as a family-owned business,[7] with six leatherworkers who made leather wallets and billfolds by hand.[8]

1946: Miles & Lillian Cahn join Coach

In 1946, Miles Cahn and his wife Lillian joined the company.[7] Miles and Lillian Cahn were owners of a leather handbag manufacturing business, and were knowledgeable about leatherworks and business.[8]

By 1950, Cahn had taken over the business and was running it mainly himself.[7] 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.[9] Lillian Cahn suggested to Miles that the company supplement the factory's low-margin wallet production making women's leather handbags.[8] The "sturdy cowhide bags were an immediate hit".[8]

Miles and Lillian Cahn bought the company through a leveraged buyout in 1961.[8]

1961–1974: Bonnie Cashin designs for Coach

In 1961, Cahn hired Bonnie Cashin, a sportswear pioneer, to design handbags for Coach.[8] Cashin "revolutionized the product's design" working for Coach from 1962 through 1974.[8]

Cashin instituted the inclusion of side pockets, coin purses, and brighter colors (as opposed to the usual hues of browns and tans) onto the bags.[8] Cashin also designed matching shoes, pens, key fobs and eyewear,[8] 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, Coach's current CEO, joined the company as vice-president of business development.[7] He was mentored by the then executive vice president, Richard Rose. Rose is responsible for turning the Coach brand into a household name.

1985: Sale to Sara Lee

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".[8] Coach was then sold to Sara Lee Corporation for a reported $30 million.[8] Lew Frankfort, at the time Coach's senior vice president, administration and retail and mail order sales, succeeded Cahn as president.[8]

Sarah Lee structured Coach under its Hanes Group.[8] 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

In 1996, under Frankfort's leadership Coach hired Reed Krakoff, whose is credited with Coach's success from 1996.[5] Krakoff's design transformed Coach from the relatively small company that it was in 1985 into the worldwide known brand that it is today.[5][10]

Corporate affairs


Around the mid-1970s, the company changed its name to Coach Products, Inc.[11] In 1980, the company changed its name yet again to Coach Leatherware Company, Inc.


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.[12]


Coach product is handcrafted from the finest American and European hides and textiles. As of June 30, 2012, Coach’s products were assembled in about 60 manufacturing facilities in 14 countries including the US, Europe and Asia.[13]


In 1959, Coach introduced their logo.[7]



As of 2012, there are over 600 Coach stores in the United States and Canada, with more expected to open this calendar . 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 on-line store at[14]


External links

  • Coach company history

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

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