Todd Kahn, Coach

Todd Kahn

“Logic and Magic”

Editors’ Note

Todd Kahn joined Coach as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary in January 2008. Prior to joining Coach, Kahn served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Calypso Christian Celle and as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Sean John after acting as President and Chief Operating Officer of Accessory Network. Before joining Accessory Network, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of InternetCash Corporation. He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Salant Corporation after joining that company as Vice President and General Counsel in 1993. Prior to that, Kahn was a corporate attorney at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in New York. He received a Bachelor of Science degree, magna cum laude, from Touro College and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Boston University Law School.

Company Brief

With headquarters in New York, Coach (www.coach.com) is a leading American marketer of fine accessories and gifts for women and men, including handbags, men’s bags, women’s and men’s small leather goods, weekend and travel accessories, footwear, watches, outerwear, scarves, sunwear, fragrance, jewelry, and related accessories. Coach is sold worldwide through Coach stores, select department stores and specialty stores, and through Coach’s Web site.

Coach Madison Embossed Croc Drawstring Shoulder Bag

Madison Embossed Croc
Drawstring Shoulder Bag

To what do you attribute Coach’s success and what has made it such a consistently strong brand?

Coach’s formula for success is a blend of ‘logic and magic.’ The magic, or design and creative component of the equation, lies in how we evolve our product and brand to build our franchise. It’s about the ‘touch and feel’ of the business. The logic, or business, part of this equation is embedded in a rigorous, knowledge-based, decision-making process, which governs virtually everything we do.

We have been part of the American landscape for more than 70 years, so Coach is a microcosm of America with broad and diversified product and multichannel distribution to complement a broad and diverse population and consumer base.

Despite the size or complexity of our business, we continue to focus on one product and one customer at a time, recognizing that we have to win our customer’s continued loyalty with each and every interaction with our brand.

Our responsibility to our customers calls for impeccable service to ensure that their needs are always met. By treating customers like guests in our own home, we seek to establish long-term relationships based on trust and satisfaction.

Our success is rooted in uncompromising devotion to honesty and fairness where our people, our business, and our community are concerned. We stand behind our products, staking our name and reputation on everything that we make.

Coach brings together strong, collaborative people in a dynamic culture of mutual respect, support, and passion for our brand and product. Our team bands together in the face of adversity and celebrates our victories.

Coach Jaguar Print Cape

Jaguar Print Cape

Would you highlight the culture of innovation at Coach?

At Coach, we drive innovation to provide product that appeals to the changing aesthetic preferences and functional requirements of our diverse, multigenerational consumers. To drive revisit and repurchase, we introduce new product monthly in the U.S. and bimonthly outside of North America. This strategy ensures that distinctive newness is delivered to our stores, matching the shopping cadence of our best customers.

We are also increasingly leveraging technology to deliver the highest quality product to market in shorter periods of time.

In addition, with the globalization of our target consumers, we are finding commonalities around what influences their concept of fashion relevance.

Will there be further product extensions for Coach?

Over the past decade, we have built Coach into a leading international accessories company with a loyal and highly engaged consumer franchise. We’re now transforming Coach into a global lifestyle brand, anchored in accessories. We have been strengthening our teams to enhance and build out the Coach experience through product, retail environments, and integrated marketing.

We have demonstrated the ability to offer a lifestyle assortment including categories such as outerwear, shoes, jewelry, watches, eyewear, and fragrance. This next evolution of the brand will encompass a full head-to-toe expression of the Coach woman, including a focused ready-to-wear presentation to inspire our customers with a complete Coach point of view that is relevant to how she lives her life. This new design direction, while still grounded in accessories and remaining true to our ‘DNA,’ covers all categories and price points, including a more elevated product platform.

Would you highlight the global strength of the brand and the key markets for future growth?

Coach is the market leader in North America and the number-two brand globally. We are continuing to gain international brand recognition as we grow our directly operated store base in Asia – notably in China – as well as in Europe, while entering new markets such as those in Latin America through distribution partnerships.

What made you feel that Hudson Yards was the right place for Coach to locate and would you discuss your vision for the space?

Coach was founded in 1941 in New York and for the past 50 years, we have been headquartered just a few steps away from the Hudson Yards project. This city has inspired, motivated, and shaped our brand and we saw early on the vision of what Hudson Yards could be and became the first anchor in the project.

The Coach tower will have a unique 15-story atrium overlooking the High Line. Our goal is to create an urban campus for our associates and guests.

Our involvement in this project reflects our confidence in Coach, the revitalization of the Hudson Yards neighborhood, and the unparalleled vibrancy of New York City.

What are your key priorities for Coach to ensure that you maintain industry leadership?

Our primary focus is on driving Coach’s transformation into a global lifestyle brand anchored in accessories. We plan to convey this new expression of the Coach brand by telling a complete story about the women and men who are our consumers. We will impact every way the brand touches the consumer – including in our stores, windows, online, and via our marketing.

We will also leverage the global opportunity for Coach by raising brand awareness and building market share in markets where Coach is under-represented.

We’re also focusing on the men’s opportunity for the brand by opening new standalone and dual-gender stores, and broadening the men’s assortment in existing stores.

In addition, we’ll harness the growing power of the digital world by accelerating the development of our digital programs and capabilities in North America and worldwide. Our intent is to rapidly drive further innovation to engage with customers in this channel. Key elements include coach.com, our invitation-only factory flash sites, our global e-commerce sites, marketing sites, and social networking.•