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NYCDiane
08-03-2009, 09:45 AM
Okay, so we all know that Coach makes items specifically for their retail stores and specifically for their outlet stores.... Well, I was at the outlet (again) and went to Coach for a look-see since I had the 20% off coupon.

I found a bag that I absolutely adored --- unfortunately, it was "straight from retail" and was $328 so I couldn't get it. I found another one that I sort of liked, but wasn't too crazy about the feel of the leather and the zipper kept getting stuck. I thought it was only that bag, so I took another one from the same display and it had the same issue.... it wasn't the typical thick, brass "Coach" zipper --- it was silver and very cheap-looking. All of the bags on the display had the same problem... the zippers just wouldn't work right. They also had those thin straps (which I think are only on the "outlet" Coach bags because all the "retail" Coach has the nice, wide straps)

I found more (obvious) made-for-Coach "outlet" bags and it was the same deal... the material (whether leather or fabric) just didn't feel the same and the zippers were all those cheapy zippers.

Sooooo, I guess my question is, why is Coach "cheaping down" their product? Why not just take "last season's" stuff and send that to the outlets or send over stuff that is about to be taken off the shelves for new merchandise? Why make cheap stuff just so people can have "Coach" when, to me, that's not really "Coach" because Coach is (or was) the ultimate in quality leather.

1PrincessMomma1
08-03-2009, 11:09 AM
I have Coach from both the retail and the outlet and have not had any problems with my outlet items. The "made for outlet" items all have nice thick straps & hardware. Must be a new thing for them.

piglet33
08-03-2009, 11:58 AM
I was just in two different Coach outlets and didn't see this issue. The purse I bought has nice straps and hardware also. I don't think they're "cheaping down" their products. They look like they always have, at least to me.

NYCDiane
08-03-2009, 12:15 PM
Maybe I was just there on the wrong day.... I just couldn't believe what I was seeing/feeling. I'll be going out to the outlets again later this month and I'll probably pop in there to see what they have. I just don't know what was up with those silver zippers and the less-than-great quality leather. :confused3

I really wanted that other bag --- I wish that one would have been on clearance for 50% off!

PatsMom
08-03-2009, 12:22 PM
I haven't noticed a difference in quality in the stuff at the outlets. Seems like the same quality as retail to me.

I love going to the Coach outlet. Right now I have to stop on my way home from work in Tilton, which is about 80 miles away. But on August 13 we have a Coach outlet opening in North Conway. I am really looking forward to that.

LIFERBABE
08-03-2009, 12:37 PM
I am a avid Coach retail shopper and you do have to watch for the "made for outlet items" There is a difference.

Look for metal zippers on wallets. The leather is also different on some items.

I recommend that you pick up and carry the most expensive bag in the store around with you while you shop. Compare the leather and zippers and interiors to other bags that you may want to purchase.
You dont have to buy the most expensive, but use it as your guide.

It really depends on the outlet whether you see the lesser quality items. They may not have enough inventory to supply the outlets from retail so they manufacture items directly for the outlet.

I do shop the outlets and have had similar experiences with finding cheaply made items. They are still nice, but closer to knock off quality and definitely not worth the $100+ you will spend.

NYCDiane
08-03-2009, 01:01 PM
I haven't noticed a difference in quality in the stuff at the outlets. Seems like the same quality as retail to me.




The outlets carry some retail stuff but they also carry "made for outlet" stuff that is of a much lesser quality than Coach. The stuff you saw could have very well been from retail to outlet rather than "made for outlet"

NYCDiane
08-03-2009, 01:05 PM
I am a avid Coach retail shopper and you do have to watch for the "made for outlet items" There is a difference.

Look for metal zippers on wallets. The leather is also different on some items.

I recommend that you pick up and carry the most expensive bag in the store around with you while you shop. Compare the leather and zippers and interiors to other bags that you may want to purchase.
You dont have to buy the most expensive, but use it as your guide.

It really depends on the outlet whether you see the lesser quality items. They may not have enough inventory to supply the outlets from retail so they manufacture items directly for the outlet.

I do shop the outlets and have had similar experiences with finding cheaply made items. They are still nice, but closer to knock off quality and definitely not worth the $100+ you will spend.

Great advice!

Also, the one I saw (with the problem zipper). Had I seen someone carrying that bag somewhere, I would swear it's a knockoff --- that's how bad the leather, the zipper, and the strap looked (compared to quality Coach)

When I picked up that "straight from retail" bag... it was pure Coach -- the leather, the zipper, the hardware... it was heaven! Unfortunately, that slice of heaven was way out of my range! :rotfl2:

Darcy03231
08-03-2009, 01:20 PM
I was just in the outlet store this weekend (Tilton NH) and really didn't notice any difference.

DisneyRunner2009
08-03-2009, 02:02 PM
I agree with the op that Coach used to be about quality leather and brass hardware. Now Coach has jumped on the trendy big bags of color and bling, last time I was at the oulet. Also, materials include fabric and Coach printed on some sort of plastic. These bags still command a pretty penny.

PatsMom
08-03-2009, 02:15 PM
I was just in the outlet store this weekend (Tilton NH) and really didn't notice any difference.

Sounds like we shop at the same outlet. Maybe for some reason they don't get much "made for the outlet" stuff that other posters are talking about.

akcire
08-03-2009, 03:25 PM
I agree with the op that Coach used to be about quality leather and brass hardware. Now Coach has jumped on the trendy big bags of color and bling, last time I was at the oulet. Also, materials include fabric and Coach printed on some sort of plastic. These bags still command a pretty penny.


Totally agree. The last time I thought Coach had any quality products was when Sara Lee owned them in the mid-90's; I think they were made in the U.S.A. at that time. I am not saying that I haven't seen an occasional good purse, but the last time their full product line was quality construction including their luggage was a long time ago.

Most hand bag/briefcase/luggage companies have "grades" of product line. For example, in general when looking at everyday stock (not one day values), a black Kenneth Cole briefcase purchased at Bloomingdale's will be of higher quality and construction than one from Macy's. [Many people will never notice the difference, but for a handbag I would rather have one excellent quality, than ten okay quality bags]. This is true of most handbag/luggage companies. It mostly has to due with which of their approved manufacturers creates each product and the skill of the retail stores buying team Using the same example of a black Kenneth Cole the Bloomingdale's model may be made in the same factory in Beijing that other high-end companies use or even in Italy, while the "Macy's model" may be made in an outer province in China (cheaper less experienced labor) along with less exclusive retailers.

Also some companies only keep their product in retail stores to compliment their outlet business--I think it is Juicy Couture that makes all of their profit from outlet, and retail is a loss leader. I could be wrong if this is the correct company.

True quality products are getting harder to find every year, and I am frequently disappointed when I find that a brand I have purchased for years decides to "cheap-up" their product lines.

A couple of handbag lines I do still feel produce quality products are Ghurka, Hartmann, Burberry. Yes, they are all expensive, but they produce a consistently quality product, not to mention you can often times get wonderful deals on older models.

Tinkerbelle32
08-03-2009, 11:13 PM
I have never noticed any difference either! I've never had an issues with any quality or appearance.