Price Wars: Mulberry Down, Coach Up.

Mulberry V's Coach

Two luxury brands with very similar identities, totally at odds on strategy, so which one has the right idea?

Mulberry announced earlier this month that following other luxury brands by rapidly  increasing prices as the brands popularity grew, has left them out in the cold with the British customer. While the Eastern European market in still buoyant in the luxury sector, it seems the loyal British customer has been priced out of the market- ironic as it was in the UK where Mulberry (carried by Sienna Miller, Kate Moss & Keira Knightley) initially found fame. A large proportion of customers sought out Mulberry for the unrivalled craftsmanship, quality and timeless design present in each handbag. Being on-trend was less important than owning a bag that works with everything in your wardrobe and doesn’t buckle at the first sign of wear. The product remained ‘right’ but the price was ‘wrong’. Acknowledging the error of judgement, Mulberry will be introducing a more affordable range (£495-£700) in June.

Mulberry Alexa

(Alexa Pickle Green tote £1,100)

On the other side of the pond Coach is also experiencing a downturn in profit. In a bid to step outside the shadow of its competitors, Coach plans to raise prices. Maybe the fact the luxury market is over-crowded isn’t a problem that can be easily solved by changing your competitor. Looking at why your competitors are succeeding would surely be a better solution? A brief look at Kate Spade’s fearless approach to design and quirky styling quickly provides the answer to why this brand is growing so swiftly. Michael Kors isn’t quite so radical in design but boy this brand has embraced social media in BIG way.

Hopefully Coach has studied the mistakes Mulberry made and has a fool-proof plan to convince loyal customers that the extra cost of owning one of their lovely handbags is truly worth it.

The ‘IT’ bag’s back….

Totes Amaze

Dust off your totes and much-loved ‘IT’ bags…. luxe handbags are back in style.

Legions of fashion editors heave a sigh of relief, it’s finally ‘o.k’ to carry serious arm candy again without being accused of being frivolous or out-of-touch with reality. The ‘IT’ bag phenomena turned sour as recession took hold of the UK and filthy rich WAG’s stalked the streets with this seasons ‘must-have’ bag in a different shade for each day of the week. A style statement quickly became the ultimate display of vulgarity in an era of austerity.

Jaeger Bags

The admiring glances I had once received turned into sneers and ‘she’s got more money than sense’ jibes but neither would deter me from carrying a little slice of leather luxury. Instead I view my not so little collection (maybe 10 in total and some were gift) as a testament to my ethos regarding money. It’s pretty simple- buy the best you can afford. I can’t quite figure out when saving has become such a dowdy thing to admit to? Growing up in a family who don’t really ‘do’ credit, you learn to save until you can afford to buy what you want and then treasure the item when it finally becomes yours.

I’m looking forward to carrying my lush totes again but more than that, I can’t wait to see this trend in action and all the lust worthy bags instore.