Kate Spade is taking over the world. The 20-year-old handbag brand could take overtake J. Crew in revenues, Wedbush Securities analyst Corinna Freedman told Women’s Wear Daily.
“I think they have a bigger runway,” Freedman told WWD, noting the brand’s international expansion. “They’ve done a great job at positioning and marketing the brand. You can get tired of shopping at J. Crew and all your usual haunts. It’s the new kid on the block.”
Kate Spade’s dominance lends hope to a distressed brand: the former Liz Claiborne.
Last year, Liz Claiborne became Fifth & Pacific companies. The other brands in that portfolio include Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand Jeans, and Jack Spade.
Liz Claiborne used to be one of the dominant workplace brands for women. Today, the brand only exists in JCPenney stores.
Fifth & Pacific’s Juicy Couture brand is also struggling with declining sales, which makes Kate Spade the crown jewel of Fifth & Pacific’s portfolio.
Kate Spade has the potential to be the “next global accessories-driven mega-brand,” said Eric Beder, an analyst with Brean Murray Carret & Co., adding that sales for the company as a whole could reach $4 billion.
Beder cited Kate Spade’s international expansion as evidence that the brand has plenty of room to grow.
If Kate Spade does surpass J. Crew in terms of influence, Fifth & Pacific should have plenty of money to invest in its other brands.
While Kate Spade faces a ton of competition from Tory Burch, Coach, and Michael Kors, the brand has been resistant so far.
That kind of success would also give Fifth & Pacific credibility that it’s lacking as the former Liz Claiborne.
Like Victoria’s Secret for Limited Brands, Kate Spade’s success could make Fifth & Pacific the mega-brand it aspires to be.
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