Michael Kors is Closing Down 100 to 125 Stores

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,863
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I just saw the article at the link below stating that Michael Kors is closing down at least 100 full-priced stores due to poor sales. I never got into the MK brand, not because I thought that the bags weren't beautiful - I saw many lovely MK bags being carried by others - but because I didn't want to expand my preoccupation with purses to include another brand. I was often tempted but resisted because I have enough problems trying to curtail my obsession with Coach bags and products!

Last Saturday during the holiday weekend, I stopped at the outlet mall to return a couple of impulse buys (no surprise!) to the Coach outlet. I had gotten there around 10:45 am (the store opened at 10 am) but there was already a long line waiting to get into the Coach store. They had the stanchions set up and the line wrapped around the corner and alongside the building. I almost left but it was a pleasant day and I had gone there specifically to do the returns so I hung on until it was my turn to go in, by the time I left the line was even longer.

The Michael Kors outlet is directly across from Coach at this outlet mall and as I stood in line I couldn't help but notice that there was no line and not much activity around the MK store. I wondered why and decided that it was probably the Disney line that was attracting so many customers to the Coach store, but now I am thinking that it may also be because of the slump in MK sales and popularity.

Coach has had slumps and store closures in the past and recovered so I wonder if this is a temporary issue for MK and if their brand will revive, or are they likely to be the next brand to be purchased by Coach - like Kate Spade? I guess we will have to wait and see!

http://nypost.com/2017/05/31/michael-kors-is-closing-more-stores-as-handbag-sales-tank/
 
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popartist

Member
Oct 23, 2016
592
1,276
From the Wall Street Journal article it sounds like they may be using Coach's strategy to try to get out of the slump. Besides the department store sales, I do notice that MK is in far more plentiful supply than Coach at discounters like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and Century 21, so they need to stem that tide as well.
 

RayKay

Member
Jan 31, 2012
1,737
4,732
There were quite a few predictions of this a year or two after they went public (so about 2-3 years ago now); based on the appearance they were moving to oversaturating their own market - doubling+ stores within a year or two, adding lots of licensed locations as well. Very similar to what Coach did, and is now trying to recover from.

I don't see a lot of MK bags around here simply as the nearest retail/outlet is 2 1/2 hours or so away, though now and then I see someone carrying a Selma satchel, which was the bag that had a lot of blogger/instragram popularity for a while. I don't think I have ever seen someone in person carrying a bag from their luxury line. I find a lot of their accessories (watches) just a little too over the top for my tastes (sequins, etc), and while there is a market for that, I think that they are more subject to changing trends. At my local discount retailer (Winner's), I do see the watches regularly, the bags less so and they are usually MFF and seem to sit for a long time.

Anyway, I am guessing they are just now a little overexposed and a lot of those who bought their bags as it was the "trend", as well as those who like to have something different on their arm than what most are wearing, have moved on to other things. Like with Coach, this affects even sales of their higher end bags, as people don't want to pay $1,000+ for a bag associated with a name that is now carried by "everybody" due to outlets etc.

I have a couple Michael by Michael Kors (their secondary line) bags. I really like them, and think they are good quality for a mid-range contemporary brand (and have great internal organization), but I also got them at nearly 50% off and would not have paid full price for them.

ETA: Also, I have not had to deal with them, but I have heard their online/phone customer service is horrendous. They do have poor return policies - ALL sale items (at least for their online sales) are considered non-returnable. So you better be sure you like it before you buy it, or want to take risk on resale which is likely not great given the saturated market/resale market. I am sure that does not help keep up sales.
 
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Kidclarke

Member
Aug 31, 2014
1,223
2,654
Huntington Beach, CA
I am surprised, I always thought they were quite popular. I've owned 3 of their bags in my life, now I just have one. All 3 were very sturdy. Ended up selling 2 because I didn't use them as much as other bags and needed space. I got them all from nordstrom rack for a discounted price, I couldn't see myself paying full price for their bags.
 
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Suzanne B.

Member
Oct 12, 2012
5,756
3,149
I just saw the article at the link below stating that Michael Kors is closing down at least 100 full-priced stores due to poor sales. I never got into the MK brand, not because I thought that the bags weren't beautiful - I saw many lovely MK bags being carried by others - but because I didn't want to expand my preoccupation with purses to include another brand. I was often tempted but resisted because I have enough problems trying to curtail my obsession with Coach bags and products!

Last Saturday during the holiday weekend, I stopped at the outlet mall to return a couple of impulse buys (no surprise!) to the Coach outlet. I had gotten there around 10:45 am (the store opened at 10 am) but there was already a long line waiting to get into the Coach store. They had the stanchions set up and the line wrapped around the corner and alongside the building. I almost left but it was a pleasant day and I had gone there specifically to do the returns so I hung on until it was my turn to go in, by the time I left the line was even longer.

The Michael Kors outlet is directly across from Coach at this outlet mall and as I stood in line I couldn't help but notice that there was no line and not much activity around the MK store. I wondered why and decided that it was probably the Disney line that was attracting so many customers to the Coach store, but now I am thinking that it may also be because of the slump in MK sales and popularity.

Coach has had slumps and store closures in the past and recovered so I wonder if this is a temporary issue for MK and if their brand will revive, or are they likely to be the next brand to be purchased by Coach - like Kate Spade? I guess we will have to wait and see!

http://nypost.com/2017/05/31/michael-kors-is-closing-more-stores-as-handbag-sales-tank/
Wow. I've only seen a line at my somewhat local outlet one time and that was the day after Christmas..... and that was only the checkout line. There's been times where there was a short checkout line, but that time the checkout line was wrapped around the sales floor a couple of times.
 
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CoachMaven

Unintentional Trendsetter...
May 7, 2012
4,202
7,951
MK is pretty big here. We have local stores and an outlet. I also see lots of women carrying the brand, both all leather and logo. I am not surprised that this happened, as they were following the same path as Coach, just a few years behind. I have about 7 MK bags and while their quality is similar to Coach's non-1941 line, my first love has been Coach.
 
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whateve

Authenticator
O.G.
May 10, 2010
61,085
74,258
There were quite a few predictions of this a year or two after they went public (so about 2-3 years ago now); based on the appearance they were moving to oversaturating their own market - doubling+ stores within a year or two, adding lots of licensed locations as well. Very similar to what Coach did, and is now trying to recover from.

I don't see a lot of MK bags around here simply as the nearest retail/outlet is 2 1/2 hours or so away, though now and then I see someone carrying a Selma satchel, which was the bag that had a lot of blogger/instragram popularity for a while. I don't think I have ever seen someone in person carrying a bag from their luxury line. I find a lot of their accessories (watches) just a little too over the top for my tastes (sequins, etc), and while there is a market for that, I think that they are more subject to changing trends. At my local discount retailer (Winner's), I do see the watches regularly, the bags less so and they are usually MFF and seem to sit for a long time.

Anyway, I am guessing they are just now a little overexposed and a lot of those who bought their bags as it was the "trend", as well as those who like to have something different on their arm than what most are wearing, have moved on to other things. Like with Coach, this affects even sales of their higher end bags, as people don't want to pay $1,000+ for a bag associated with a name that is now carried by "everybody" due to outlets etc.

I have a couple Michael by Michael Kors (their secondary line) bags. I really like them, and think they are good quality for a mid-range contemporary brand (and have great internal organization), but I also got them at nearly 50% off and would not have paid full price for them.

ETA: Also, I have not had to deal with them, but I have heard their online/phone customer service is horrendous. They do have poor return policies - ALL sale items (at least for their online sales) are considered non-returnable. So you better be sure you like it before you buy it, or want to take risk on resale which is likely not great given the saturated market/resale market. I am sure that does not help keep up sales.
I agree. Once I bought a MK on sale. The next day I saw the same bag on sale in another color. They wouldn't let me do an exchange because there are no returns on sale items. It wasn't even that good of a sale. I think it was probably 25% or so.

Now I only have one MK bag, a Michael by Michael Kors that I got at the outlet for a very reasonable price. I really love it. It is a copy of a FP style. When I bought it, the FP styles were selling in retail stores. That turned me off buying MK at FP - seeing the same style at an outlet. They didn't even wait a few months before making it for the outlet. (This happened to me once with Kate Spade too.) I love that bag. As you said, the organization of these bags is wonderful - so many pockets. My MK bag also has a very clever handle and strap design that allows the handle to fold down and lay flat inside the bag if you are using the long strap. It seems that a lot of thought went into the design.

I hate going into MK stores because the sales people are annoying. They are artificial and pushy. Also after watching Project Runway, my opinion of Michael Kors isn't great. If I carry a MK bag, it is because I like it, not him. I've passed up on styles I've liked because the logos were too prominent.
 

Hobbsy

Sofa King Banned
Apr 11, 2015
7,999
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They are pushy. I hate that about sales people. I like them available to answer questions, but then go....I don't need help shopping, I can do enough damage by myself!
Sounds like they're going to try to boost sales in Asia.
 
Nov 24, 2006
5,514
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I've stopped to look at some of their bags, but never really got into them. The shoes though...oops! Really not surprised that MK is getting over-saturated; it's like the #1 brand at department stores like Macy's. Guess they're trying to recover like what Coach did...waiting to see what will happen!
 
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Jul 9, 2009
22,375
7,120
I have four MK bags all quilted sloans in various colours nothing else I lie in the entire line it's much more widely available here in the Uk than coach but does nothing for me apart from that one style- it never seems to be reduced over here in the sales unlike their other lines. I find Customer service generally is getting worse and worse
 
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Winterfell5

Member
Feb 4, 2017
358
572
Michael Kors is very popular here. I see women carrying their bags everywhere, and the MK Outlet store is usually packed with customers. The retail store in our Mall is very active too.
 
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Luv2Shop1

Gone shopping
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Aug 8, 2009
6,566
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MK is very popular where I live...both boutiques and outlet.

When I go to the outlet mall, Coach_is always fairly empty and MK is busy.

At the boutiques, same thing, Coach_is low traffic and MK is busy. The MK boutiques are bright and inviting; the Coach_boutique is darker if that makes sense. The only department stores that carries MK now in my area are Macy_s and Bloomingdales_ and both departments are smaller than they were several years ago.

I remember back in 2010 when I bought my first MK-Uptown Astor-the boutique was busy and they didn't discount except in the by invitation private sales. Back then it was hard to find MK on discount even in a dept store.

Discounting only started at MK in the past couple of years as their popularity grew and they started over producing. Same story as Coach in that regard. Over production leads to sales. It's inevitable; you have to dump unsold inventory off the books.

Also, in the last year or so MK retired a bunch of their permanent collection designs and started using cheaper pressed leather--not the same saffiano leather they've used for years. The newer designs don't do much for me. I feel like the MICHAEL Michael_Kors_line needs to be reinvigorated. I wish them luck though, Michael_Kors_ is a talented American designer who gets women.
 

katev

"The Bag Whisperer!"
O.G.
Dec 18, 2009
15,863
13,215
...Last Saturday...I stopped at the outlet mall...there was already a long line waiting to get into the Coach store. They had the stanchions set up and the line wrapped around the corner and alongside the building...by the time I left the line was even longer. The Michael Kors outlet is directly across from Coach...and as I stood in line I couldn't help but notice that there was no line and not much activity around the MK store...
Wow. I've only seen a line at my somewhat local outlet one time and that was the day after Christmas...and that was only the checkout line. There's been times where there was a short checkout line, but that time the checkout line was wrapped around the sales floor a couple of times.
Michael Kors is very popular here. I see women carrying their bags everywhere, and the MK Outlet store is usually packed with customers. The retail store in our Mall is very active too.
MK is very popular where I live...both boutiques and outlet. When I go to the outlet mall, Coach_is always fairly empty and MK is busy. At the boutiques, same thing, Coach_is low traffic and MK is busy. The MK boutiques are bright and inviting; the Coach_boutique is darker if that makes sense...
At my local outlet (Aurora, IL) the Coach store used to be small and included both men's and women's items and it was quite common to wait in a long line to get in, and stand in a long checkout line to purchase your items. They eventually opened a separate men's store in the same mall and that helped a little, but there were still often long lines at the Coach women's store on weekends and during sales and busy times like the holidays.

A few years ago this mall did a major expansion project and Coach moved into a much larger, brighter, combined men's and women's store with more cash registers, and that did a lot to reduce or eliminate the lines both for getting in and checking out.

I don't go to the outlet as often any more as I am trying not to buy so much, but I have only seen the stanchions set up and a line to get in the new store on a few occasions (although I may be getting into bad habits again now that I work near the Rosemont, IL outlet!)

I think that the longer lines at the Coach Outlet last Saturday were due to the beautiful weather, the holiday weekend, the Disney products, and the 50% off sale.

Michael Kors and Vera Bradley also moved to larger stores in the new section of the mall at the same time that Coach moved and both brands are very popular in this area. Almost all the stores were offering specials over the holiday weekend and I saw a short line to get in at Vera Bradley but no line and little activity by MK. That may have been a fluke, we will have to wait and see.
 
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CoachMaven

Unintentional Trendsetter...
May 7, 2012
4,202
7,951
Also, in the last year or so MK retired a bunch of their permanent collection designs and started using cheaper pressed leather--not the same saffiano leather they've used for years. The newer designs don't do much for me. I feel like the MICHAEL Michael_Kors_line needs to be reinvigorated. I wish them luck though, Michael_Kors_ is a talented American designer who gets women.
Oh, yes, the bonded leather! I am not a fan of that either, as it is leather by product with other non leather materials added. Especially if I am paying leather prices. I loved his saffiano from his Greenwich line from last year. I got a large grab bag and a drawstring in that, and it is such a great, non-denting style saffiano!
 
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popartist

Member
Oct 23, 2016
592
1,276
MK is really big in NYC too, it is the bag brand I see people carrying the most, but I would venture that the majority of people carrying them got them for 40-50% off at one of the discount retailers here, and most of the rest on sale at Macy's or another one of the department stores. Not judging them because I haven't paid full price for Coach yet either :biggrin:, but you can see where some of the issues with the brand are. Kate Spade, which Coach just bought, is pretty much the same.

Haven't done any perusing in the MK retail or outlet stores as the bags just don't speak to me in terms of styling and/or leather used, but they (along with Kate Spade) always seem to be busier at Jersey Gardens and Woodbury Common than the Coach outlet.
 
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