Coach To Open Mainland China Flagship Store In Shanghai This April

Company Plans To Open 15 New Stores In China This Year

Coach's Hong Kong flagship store opened in 2008 (Image courtesy Butterboom)

Coach's Hong Kong flagship store opened in 2008 (Image courtesy Butterboom)

Earlier this month, Lew Frankfort, CEO of the American luxury brand Coach, announced that his company is committed to building more market share in the Chinese market in 2010. As we wrote at that time, Frankfort is optimistic about Coach’s prospects in China, as the brand currently has very low “unaided awareness” (meaning not driven by advertising) of 8 percent, compared with 72 percent in the U.S. and 63 percent in Japan among target consumers.

In addition to plans to open 15 new locations in China in 2010, Frankfort announced that Coach would open a flagship store somewhere in the mainland at some point in the year. Pretty vague, but this week Coach released more details about this new flagship store, which will open in Shanghai this April. From China Retail News:

Located at the junction of Shanghai’s Huaihaizhong road and Songshan road, this new flagship store is designed by Coach’s construction and design team. It covers an area of 650 square meters, the two-floor store has two new features: a women’s accessories area and a men’s boutique series area.

To celebrate the opening of this flagship store, Coach specially designed a series of limited edition handbags, which are only available in this new store.

In addition, the company has organized a charity activity named “Star Totes” to coordinate with the opening of this store. Coach has invited celebrities from all over the world to do artistic creations on Coach’s handbags. These handbags will be auctioned on the Internet and the income will be donated to the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation.

High-visibility campaigns like “Star Totes,” and the opening of a new flagship store, are key for Coach in China. Considering the brand has such low recognition in the Louis Vuitton-mad Chinese market, and its less flashy designs make it less of an immediate status symbol, getting celebrities involved in store openings and investing in new construction all across the country is a good strategy for taking more “attainable luxury” market share.