During the recession, high-end accessories companies like those listed above, created lower-end lines to appeal to a wider demographic and stay afloat during the downturn. While that indeed benefited many of these companies during those years, it ended up backfiring once the U.S. economy began recovering.
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Post-recession, many of these brands appeared "too accessible" and started to lose their cache, losing support from loyal followers who no longer wanted to spend $1,000+ for a bag that also had a $200 version.
Only a couple of years ago Michael Kors was the undeniable winner of the purse wars, with quarterly profits increasing by triple digits year-over-year in 2013, and maintaining high double-digit growth throughout 2014, with things finally beginning to slow in 2015.
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During Kors peak, Coach was the biggest loser in the space. Their discount stores, with lower-end products, were cannibalizing higher-end lines, and logo-ed offerings were not resonating with millennials. Coach was starting to be seen as a line for more mature shoppers.
In the last year, though, things have been looking up for Coach. A management shake up, remodeled stores, and a new image as a lifestyle brand that includes shoes, apparel and accessories in addition to purses has helped. During Q4 2015, COH posted the first quarter of sales growth in two years. This quarter they are expected to return to profit growth as well, the first time since Q1 2014.
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Currently, the Estimize EPS consensus is calling for $0.42, one cent above Wall Street, projecting a YoY increase of 17 percent. Revenue estimates from the crowd are also slightly higher at $1.028 billion vs. the sell-side's $1.025 billion. This would denote an increase of 11 percent above the year ago period. Both metrics have seen upward revisions since the January report.