October 22, 2008, 12:00 AM

Coach plans an e-commerce platform update in fiscal 2009

Coach will spend part of next year updating its e-commerce platform and further segmenting its e-mail list, executives told Wall St. analysts.

Coach Inc. will spend part of next year updating its e-commerce platform and further segmenting its e-mail list.

“We`ve spent an enormous amount of time on Coach.com, and I think you`ll notice that what we would call the skin and architecture of the site has been significantly revamped from an experience standpoint, look and feel,” Coach president of North American retail Michael Tucci told Wall Street analysts on the company’s first quarter fiscal 2009 earnings call. “We`ve managed our shopping path much more aggressively, trying to get the consumer more effectively to key places that she visits, obviously, our handbag business. Categories that are not as important in the store, such as men`s and footwear and online, have all been targeted for growth.”

In fiscal 2009, Coach will rebuild its e-commerce platform, though the company, No. 146 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, didn’t release many details on its most recent earnings call. “It`s part of a multi-pronged effort, including the full re-platforming of Coach.com, which will now happen in the beginning of the calendar year, and what we`re seeing is a huge opportunity around segmentation and customization, which we`ll begin to effort against this holiday,” Tucci told analysts.

In the first quarter ended Sept. 27 Coach posted net income of $146 million on sales of $753 million vs. net income of $155 million on revenue of $677 million in Q1 of fiscal 2008. The company didn’t break out web sales.

As part of its e-commerce plan, Coach will also segment its e-mail list even further to find more qualified buyers, Tucci said. “You`ll see us doing a more tailored approach around e-mail,” Tucci told analysts. “In terms of open rates and e-mail response rates, we are very, very disciplined there. We don`t bombard people with a lot of e-mails if they choose not to engage, so we control that very, very carefully. Our e-mail productivity is very strong.”


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