Article | December 3, 2018

Coach Joins Burberry And Gucci In Dropping Fur Products. How Retailers Facing Changing Customer Demands Can Leverage Predictive Analytics

Source: Retalon

By Adrian Silipo, Marketing Manager at Retalon

Fur Coats

Coach has recently announced that the company will no longer be selling fur products for ethical reasons. The decision came after similar announcements from other fashion retail competitors such as Gucci, DKNY, Versace, Burberry and Columbia Sportswear.

The decision to drop fur, or any other category/sub-category of product, isn’t an easy one for retailers, especially those in high-end fashion retailing. It means asking a lot of questions to understand what would happen and what the implications could mean for the business. Questions that involve the kind of data that people can’t process without the right tools and solutions.

Generally speaking, we know that there are two main routes dropping fur could go for a fashion retailer:

1) Customers go elsewhere for fur (and more)

Coach’s chief executive Joshua Schulman has said, “We’re doing it because we believe it’s the right thing to do.” Many customers will agree with Mr. Schulman, but not all, and that leads to the question, how much will dropping fur really cost across the entire chain vs. the expected benefit?

Coach won’t only be losing the revenue from fur sales but also revenue from potential cross-selling opportunities, such as gloves that match a fur-lined coat. In order to truly understand the cost of lost sales, and just how many customers they will be losing, Coach needs to understand the shopping habits and preferences of fur-buyers, and also identify what products are being offered by competitors that could steal your customers.