According to a recent report by KeyBanc analyst Edward Yruma, weakness in the global economy, a strong U.S. dollar and ongoing geopolitical issues are contributing to a slowdown among consumers who live overseas.
But it isn't just international companies that are vulnerable to the shift. As a result of these trends, analysts have recently lowered their ratings on U.S.-based retailers Tiffany and Ralph Lauren—which pull in a high percentage of their sales abroad—and lowered earnings expectations for Coach.
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"Within the international luxury [category], we highlight China, Russia, Japan and Europe as particularly important markets," Yruma said. "Given the recent macro headwinds in these markets, which are largely expected to continue into 2015, we think the global high-end consumer could be challenged."
At Coach, for example, Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger wrote in a note to investors that deteriorating international trends are expected to weigh on the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings results—compounding its struggles to regain popularity among U.S. shoppers.
She predicted that similar to Tiffany—which disappointed investors earlier this month when it said holiday sales decreased 1 percent year over year—Coach's earnings report, to be released Thursday, will indicate that a stronger dollar pressured its sales.
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Greenberger noted that the yen depreciated 12 percent year over year during the accessories company's second quarter; since Japan accounts for about 11 percent of Coach's sales, it implies a 1 percent hit on the company's sales.
"Additionally, while marginal compared to Tiffany's higher dependency upon foreign tourist spending, we believe the stronger U.S. dollar certainly won't help Coach's U.S. retail locations, which may partially rely on Asian tourist spending," she said.