When it comes to designer handbags, Michael Kors is a household name. The American designer has made a name for himself by marrying classic sportswear with a jet set aesthetic and his sleek, contemporary bags radiate uptown style. The brand has become a favorite of celebrities, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Jennifer Lopez and Charlize Theron, and its clothing, accessories, and especially Micheal Kors purses are available in shops across America and beyond.
But even a household name can’t escape the pull of declining consumer spending. During the third quarter of this year, comparable sales at Kors North American stores fell 8.5%. That’s a far cry from the double-digit gains that the company enjoyed in its meteoric expansion, and it points to signs that the bag craze is cooling off.
The slump has been felt by retailers across the country, including Coach and Kate Spade owner Tapestry and Michael Kors parent Capri Holdings. Both companies recently lowered their full-year outlooks. The declines can be traced to slowing growth in the high-end premium handbag market and a shift in how shoppers view their purses, which are increasingly seen as “nice-to-have” rather than a must-have item.
To combat the slowdown, Michael Kors has been cutting costs and lowering prices. But it hasn’t been enough to revive growth. The company’s North American wholesale business has been losing money and its discount store, Nordstrom Rack, is struggling.
Kors’s troubles have also been exacerbated by rising competition and shifting consumer tastes. His namesake line has been hurt by the emergence of less-expensive alternatives, like his lower-priced MICHAEL by Michael Kors label, and it has lost market share to fast-growing competitors such as Rebecca Minkoff and Tory Burch.
Adding to the mix, consumers are beginning to question the value of luxury goods, and teens have rejected them as status symbols. That could spell trouble for a brand that was once a Wall Street darling.
In an effort to boost its bottom line, Kors has been investing heavily in the digital space. It has also been working with customs authorities and legal representatives globally to prevent the sale of counterfeit products, which are a major problem in the fashion industry. The company recently filed a lawsuit against vendors and operators of the Boulevard Flea Market in New Haven, Connecticut, for selling counterfeits bearing its logo.
But despite the current headwinds, Kors remains a force to be reckoned with. His collection of bags is a testament to his ability to create modern, yet timeless designs. And with these amazing deals, there’s no better time to treat yourself to a Michael Kors purse. Just be sure to check the lining for telltale signs of authenticity: Knock-off logo prints tend to be heavily shaded and the logo acronyms face in different directions. In addition to its stylish bags, the brand has an impressive philanthropic track record and supports many worthy causes. In fact, Kors has been a longtime supporter of God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that cooks and delivers meals to people living with serious illness in the New York City area. michael kors bags sales