Coach, Inc. is a designer, producer, and marketer of a prestige line of handbags, briefcases, luggage, and accessories. The company made its reputation selling sturdy leather purses in unchanging, traditional, classic styles, and it remains one of the best-known leather brands in the United States and has a growing reputation overseas. In addition to its main product line, the company offers Coach brand watches, footwear, and home and office furniture through agreements with licensing partners. Nearly two-thirds of company sales are derived from direct-to-consumer channels. These include about 190 Coach stores in the United States, among these, approximately 120 are retail stores and the remainder are factory outlets, direct mail catalogues, and an online store. There are also 175 Coach locations outside the United States, in 18 countries. The company's indirect channels include the wholesaling of Coach brand products to approximately 1,400 department and specialty store locations in the United States. Formed in 1941, Coach was family owned and operated until 1985, when Sara Lee Corporation purchased the firm. Coach remained a subsidiary of Sara Lee until 2001, when the firm regained its independence via a spinoff. In the late 1990s, Coach underwent a major transformation under the management of its CEO Lew Frankfort and designer Reed Krakoff. Under their direction, Coach adopted a unique positioning as an 'accessible luxury brand'. In other words, though the company offered high-end products, their prices were lower than the prices of most other luxury brands in the US. This extended Coach's appeal to a wide range of consumers.
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