Coach owner Tapestry selling more expensive bags during pandemic

Kate Spade handbags

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Women are spending more money when they’re shopping for handbags during the coronavirus pandemic, Coach owner Tapestry’s latest quarterly results show.

And it could be, in part, because consumers are buying bigger, pricier bags to stow away bottles of hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes.

“I don’t know about you, but carrying around 20 pounds of Covid products in a small cross-body just isn’t going to work,” said Stacey Widlitz, head of SW Retail Advisors. “Big bags are back. … It’s about carrying your life in your bag.”

Tapestry, which also owns the Kate Spade brand, said Thursday its revenue per handbag globally rose more than 25%, on average, during the fiscal first quarter, which consisted of more than 20% growth in North America.

Management explained that the gains were fueled largely by the handbag maker cutting back on promotions, thereby selling more items at higher price points.

It also has been reducing its reliance on wholesale partners, like department stores, which in the past has been a drag on profits.

“We’re focused on driving [average unit revenue] by being close to our consumer and delivering products that our consumers value,” Chief Executive Joanne Crevoiserat told analysts.

Tapestry shares were up more than 9% in premarket trading.

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