Michael Kors is just the latest company to announce its intention to change its name, following a precedent set by a number of the country's most famous brands. Most frequently, a name change reflects a shift in strategy, but sometimes it can provide a fresh start after a scandal.
Here is a list of some of the most notable name changes in recent years.
Michael Kors said Tuesday it will change its name to Capri Holdings, inspired by an "iconic, glamorous and luxury destination" island. The move comes as the company announced plans to buy the Gianni Versace fashion house for $2.1 billion. The new name reflects the company's efforts to move further into luxury and away from the more affordable handbags for which it has long been known. The company, which will keep the Michael Kors brand, made its first step in this direction when it bought shoe brand Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion last year. But the Versace deal provides it with a launching pad to a more exclusive European luxury market.
Restoration Hardware announced its move to RH as the company looked the shed the word "hardware" from its name and emphasize its place as a "lifestyle" company that sells baby products, outdoor products and has catalogs. "RH enhances our identity and moves us beyond our Hardware store beginnings," CEO Carlos Alberini said when the change was announced last year. RH has been opening up so-called RH Galleries, expansive museum-style stores, to reflect its newer identity. Its shares, meantime, are up more than 50 percent so far this year.
Online travel giant Priceline Group changed its name to Booking Holdings earlier this year, emphasizing its shift from travel to hotel-and-home-rentals. The online travel giant, founded two decades ago, rose to prominence in the dot-com boom and became a go-to platform for travelers to bid on flights, a feature it ended in 2016. It also diversified through a number of deals, including its acquisition of restaurant reservation site OpenTable and online reservation site Bookings. Booking.com became Priceline's largest brand, a position the company said it wanted to reflect with its name change. Its stock is up 13 percent so far this year.
New York & Co earlier this month announced its name change to RTW Retailwinds to emphasize its opportunities as a multi-brand company. As part of the announcement, New York & Co said it will expand its celebrity collections, including its Kate Hudson collection, expand its plus-size brand, Fashion to Figure, and introduce a lingerie line. Its shares are up 36 percent so far this year.
CVS Caremark announced plans to change its name to CVS Health in 2014, as part of its push to transform itself into a health-focused company. That move came as CVS announced it was ending tobacco sales in its stores. It later moved candy products away from the front counter, further emphasizing its health-centered store experience. Last year, CVS Health announced it is acquiring insurer Aetna for roughly $69 billion, solidifying its transformation into a broad-based health-care company.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals announced plans to change its name to Bausch Health in May, calling out its optical products business, Bausch and Lomb, which accounted for more than half of the company's revenue at the time. The news came as it was trying to recover from the impact of investigations into its accounting and pricing practices, as well as the debt load it built up after years of dealmaking. By the time the company announced its new name, it had already lost 93 percent of its value from 2015 highs. Year-to-date, Bausch's stock is up 18 percent.
Coach announced its name change to Tapestry last October, in an effort to reflect its goals of becoming an American fashion house. The name change followed Coach's acquisitions of high-end shoe brand Stuart Weitzman for $574 million in 2015 and quirky apparel brand Kate Spade for $2.4 billion. The word "tapestry" was meant to reflect the company's history and the fact that multiple brands are interwoven to create one product. Immediate reception, though, was less than warm. News of the rebranding sent shares of Coach down 2 percent, with shoppers saying the name sounded "musty" or "old. Shares of the accessories brand are nonetheless up 11 percent year-to-date.
On Monday, Weight Watchers announced plans to rename itself WW, as common parlance shifts from an emphasis on diet to one on wellness. "...This has been part of an evolution of a journey to go from being an undisputed leader in healthy eating for weight loss to much broader than that," CEO Mindy Grossman told CNBC's Becky Quick. As part of the rebranding, WW, which has the tagline "Wellness that Works," will launch a new partnership with meditation app Headspace. Shares of WW, which have skyrocketed about 570 percent over the past two years, traded up slightly on the news.
When Kraft spun out its Oreos and Nabisco cookies and crackers business, it gave it the name Mondelez, keeping the name "Kraft" for its North American grocery business. The press release for the new name came replete with a pronunciation guide, noting it is "pronounced mohn-dah-LEEZ." The company said the new name was meant to evoke the idea of a "delicious world" − with "monde" Latin for world, and "delez" a "fanciful expression of delicious." The pitch, though, didn't go over well with everyone. The name has sparked a number of critiques over the years, including from activist investor Nelson Peltz, who has said the name sounds like a disease.