First off, now that the election is over everyone can expect many more posts and time devoted to the blog! It’s been a busy few last months of volunteering and unfortunately somethings had to be set on the back burner. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the blog. No. That’ll never happen!
Not sure how many people have seen the article (not 100% sure if it was just online or if it was printed too) about Younkers at the Miller Hill Mall recently luring in the coveted line of upscale Coach handbags to the Duluth market. Most people are quite familiar with Coach (I’m certain you see about 15 of their handbags a day), if not, it’s an American company that started back in 1941 and today has become widely known for it’s ladies handbags. The company doesn’t sell just handbags though, they also carry luggage, briefcases, wallets, and other accessories. To say that Coach is successful is an understatement. They are EXTREMELY successful. If you travel down to the Twin Cities area it seems as if there is a Coach handbag on the arm or shoulder of 8 out of 10 women walking on the street. The signature “C” design on their items has been one of the most sought after designs for women to acquire with in the last decade especially, and continues to grow in popularity each year. Why are they such a sought after item? Their quality. Each of the bags are handcrafted with the finest leather, while the attention to detail is impeccable. You’ll pay for the quality though, the average bag is $148, with many well over that price.
Now with this being said, if you live in the Northland you too have probably seen quite a lot of Coach products. Believe it or not though, there is not a single Coach store or a single retailer that sells their products in the Northland. Baffling right?! That all changes now. Younkers department store has apparently been working for the last NINE years on trying to secure the rights to sell Coach products at their store in Duluth. On October 24th with the opening of the new Coach space within Younkers, they achieved that goal. It wasn’t that easy though. they had some guidelines to follow put forth by Coach themselves. They didn’t want their products to just be displayed on a shelf, they wanted an immersive experience for their customer. That’s why you’ll find the Coach products housed in 683 square foot, store with in a store, in a section of Younkers. It’s safe to say that quite a few Northlanders will now be translating their gas dollars into purse dollars. Welcome to the area Coach… we’re sure you’ll feel right at home.
Now what does this mean in the long scheme of things? To be frank, it means that Coach believes in the area. Like many have said before, Duluth really CAN support an upscale retail scene. We have an upscale market that remains entirely untapped. What I believe is happening is that Younkers will prove to be the “test store” for Coach. They’ll test their products out in the area, see the reaction of the local residents and how much of their product sells, and then they will either choose how to continue options (remaining the same or decreasing) or expand. Honestly, it would not surprise me if in the next five years (or sooner) Duluth see’s a full service Coach store open in the area. Duluth can support a store like that without a problem. If you look to Minnesota’s current Coach locations, you’ll see locations at the Ridgedale Mall (Minnetonka), Rosedale Mall (Roseville), Mall of America (Bloomington), Southdale Center (Edina), the Galleria (Edina), and the Apache Mall (Rochester). With that being said, there basically is only one area that is left to be tapped. The north. I think it’s safe to say that Duluth most likely is next in line for a full location. Duluth and Rochester seem to be becoming more and more similar lately and I think the fact that they have a had a store location for years now means that Duluth soon will be following. Not to mention the fact that Edina has two locations literally across the street from each other. There’s hope.
Well, that’s all for now! If you’re in the mall area make sure to stop by Younkers to see the new Coach line of products! Even if it’s just to look.