(Adds details on name change, shares)
Oct 11 (Reuters) - Coach Inc will change its corporate name to Tapestry Inc, it said on Wednesday, as it creates a broader umbrella for its high-end brands without diluting the iconic name known mainly for selling luxury handbags.
The company's shares were down 2 percent in early trading following the announcement in which Tapestry will be the holding company that will house its Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands.
But social media reacted harshly to the 76-year old company changing its corporate identity with many Twitter users criticizing the decision.
"Coach is changing its name to a popular Carole King album & a terrible name for a leather bag maker! Tapestry," said one Twitter user SpecialK. (ht.ly/rfV230fNLmp)
Founded in a loft in Manhattan in 1941, Coach has grown into a multi-billion dollar company, building its business on the success of its Coach handbags that for many years were widely coveted by upscale women shoppers around the world.
Coach, however, has lost some of its shine in recent years in part due to the financial recession and increased online shopping. The company is trying to regain its former glory buy buying new brands, keeping a tight lid on discounting and pulling back from department stores.
Coach bought smaller rival Kate Spade for $2.4 billion earlier this year and shoemaker Stuart Weitzman in 2015, broadening its portfolio and transforming it into an upscale fashion house rather than just a handbag retailer.
"We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, having evolved from a mono-brand specialty retailer to a true house of emotional, desirable brands," said Chief Executive officer Victor Luis.
The company said on Wednesday the name change will go into effect on Oct. 31 and will start trading under the ticker symbol "TPR" on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)