Hi all...I've posted a few times in the Coach board, but am mostly just reading and learning. T-Girl, I think you're right about Coach Factory stores, it seems that the boutiques uphold the "luxury" image, but I'm pretty sure that the Factory stores pay the bills!
Oh yeah, and there's actually animosity among some of the boutique and outlet SAs. The highest volume seller at the last conference in Orlando was an outlet SA that sold 5x the volume of the highest selling boutique SA!!!
However, as far as the image aspect goes, if they really wanted to keep it separated outlet from boutique, they should offer sales within the boutiques rather than shipping the bags off to the outlets. Or provide some type of online venue, ebay or otherwise. If they sold between boutique and outlet prices online, there would be a ton of takers I'm sure. It would also put the Ebay power sellers out of business, which is what a lot of people want. IMO they end up selling retail bags for a lot less money at the outlets than they really need to. I understand they need to clear stock fast, but the typical outlet shopper is not going to pay anywhere near retail prices...and that's the issue. So they end up devaluing the retail bags as well as having to sell them for less. Also some of us are not located near outlets...so an online venue would be awesome. Just look at the Ebay sales to see this is totally feasible!
I think T-Girl said it before, but it really is almost like the boutiques are just fronts to advertise a few products (not consistently though since they don't always carry the same things) and sell to perhaps a few customers who don't care about the price or can't get to other stores. Sometimes I wonder why pay those overhead costs??
I'm even at the point where I'm not sure they even have a chance at any "luxury image". I guess it depends on the definition of the customer, but I have personally never considered Coach a high end brand that has that sort of image. At this point, I personally think they are damaging what image they do have...even just from ticking off their loyal customer base.
Ok, I came over to say "hi" and ended up talking Coach, lol!