Coach Leases Space for Flagship Store on NYC's Fifth Avenue

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  • Bag maker, Weitzman brand to join priciest shopping corridor
  • Coach said to be paying rent of about $4,000 a square foot

Coach Inc. leased space at Manhattan’s 685 Fifth Ave. that will serve as a flagship store for the luxury-handbag maker, landlord General Growth Properties Inc. said Tuesday.

Coach will have about 23,400 square feet (2,200 square meters) at the property, General Growth said on its quarterly earnings conference call. The Chicago-based company, the second-largest U.S. mall owner, owns the property with Joseph Sitt’s closely held Thor Equities LLC.

After years of losing ground, Coach is winning back customers with new designs and updated stores. The retailer had suffered from increased competition from designers like Kate Spade & Co. and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. The improvements have allowed Coach to reduce its dependence on discounts, which hurt profit margins. The company last week announced earnings that exceed analysts’ estimates and raised its full-year outlook.

General Growth and Thor paid $460 million in 2014 for the 140,000-square-foot building at Fifth Avenue and 54th Street, according to data from Real Capital Analytics Inc.

Coach will be paying about $4,000 a square foot in rent, said a person with knowledge of the deal, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.

A Coach spokeswoman, Andrea Shaw Resnick, said the company had no comment on the rent. Kevin Berry, General Growth’s vice president for investor relations, and Josh Greenwald, a Thor spokesman, declined to comment.

‘Appropriate Showcase’

Coach, in its own statement, said the company expects the store, which it’s calling “Coach House,” to open in the fall.

“With a bespoke facade and modern luxury interior, it will provide an appropriate showcase for the full expression of our women’s and men’s collections,” Coach Chief Executive Officer Victor Luis said in the statement.

There will also be a separate, adjacent Stuart Weitzman store in the space, Luis said, “bringing the two brands’ stores to one iconic location.” Coach bought the footwear maker last year.

Fifth Avenue between 49th and 60th streets is the world’s most expensive shopping corridor, with rents averaging $3,500 a square foot, according to a November report by brokerage Cushman & Wakefield Inc.