Michael Kors watches and bags are ubiquitous — and that could be a big problem for the aspirational mega-brand.
Widespread popularity is the “kiss of death for trendy fashion brands, particularly those positioned in the up-market younger consumer sectors,” industry expert Robin Lewis writes on his blog.
Michael Kors has also has several brands at different price points, a strategy that could easily backfire, Lewis says. Kors has a high-end department store brand, a middle-market brand, and discount outlet stores.
“Some would argue all of those segments will simply end up competing with each other, thus cannibalising the top end of the spectrum,” he writes.
Lewis compares Michael Kors to Tommy Hilfiger, which reached its peak in the late ’90s.
Other aspirational brands have also seen a fall from grace.
Coach, once the top aspirational brand in the world, has been unravelling for years amid competition from Michael Kors and Tory Burch. And Juicy Couture is in crisis after its signature sweatsuits fell out of fashion.
About 70% of Coach’s revenues are now from discounted outlet stores, Lewis writes.
While outlet stores are a great way for brands to make quick cash, they erode brand value over time.
“Once a brand is declared as too accessible and overexposed by its loyal customers, no amount of fashion trickery will bring it back,” he says.
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