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Coach closing 70 stores as sales suffer

Coach Inc. stock displayed the New York Stock Exchange.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Coach Inc. stock displayed the New York Stock Exchange.

Upscale retailer Coach Inc said it would close about 70 stores in North America and that it expected revenue to fall in low double digits in percentage terms in the year ending next June, as it struggles against fast-growing rivals.

Coach, whose shares dropped as much as 11 percent, also said that it would "de-emphasize" discounting. The stock was one of the top losers on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The clothes, shoes and handbags retailer said it expected North America same-store sales to fall in the "high teens" in percentage terms in the coming year.

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The decline in same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, could be deeper due to lower online sales, the company said in a presentation to investors.

As of June 2013, Coach had 351 stores and 193 factory outlets in North America, where it gets about 70 percent of its revenue.

Known for its Poppy handbags, the company has struggled to keep up with rivals Kate Spade & Co and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.

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Coach's North America same-store sales fell 21 percent in the three months ended March 29, the fourth straight quarterly decline.

The company's shares were down 9.7 percent at $35.38 in afternoon trading.

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