STYLE

Coach Sales Plummet: Are We Falling Out Of Love With The Famous Bag Brand?

08/01/2012 03:33 EDT | Updated 09/06/2012 05:02 EDT
Coach

Have we fallen out of love with Coach?

The handbag maker -- which has dominated the accessories market across North America for years and whose purses and accessories have been a staple for many a Canadian fashionista -- has taken a major stock hit after it was announced its fourth-quarter sales missed analyst expectations. CNN Money reports the stock fell some 18.6 per cent. (It should be said, the company's net income rose to $251.4 million -- though those sales can almost entirely be attributed to handbag sales in Asia.)

Some speculators believe the miss could be the first sign that Coach's market share in North America is slipping. Women's Wear Daily quotes UBS retail analyst Michael Binetti: "The major threat to Coach’s U.S. sales growth in fiscal-year 2013 is the accelerating competition from names like Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, Vera Bradley, Kate Spade -- and most significantly from Michael Kors.”

Others believe this slump showcases the increasing divide between those who can purchase luxury goods and those who have to remain price-conscious. (Something that could be evidenced by similar disappointing share results for several other luxury retailers: CNN Money also reports shares of Tiffany, Saks and Nordstrom's have either been down or flat.)

This, of course, isn't the first bit of bad news we've heard out of the fashion retail sector this year. Esprit recently announced they're shuttering their U.S. and Canadian stores because of poor sales, and here in Canada, department store brand Sears has had a hard time staying afloat.

So what gives: Are we shopping less for luxury items? Is your clothing/retail budget smaller than it used to be? Or have you simply fallen out of love with specific designers, like Coach?

Which handbag brands do you adore? Tell us what you think on Twitter.

Take a look at some other stores HuffPost Style editors have stopped shopping at, whether in-store or online

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And check out some surprising retail outfits we count among our favourite surprise haunts (with a few cross-border gems for those who head south on long weekends)

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