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NEW YORK CITY-Leather goods and accessories retailer Coach Inc. will open its first concept boutiques in New York and Los Angeles this fall when it unveils Coach Legacy, an “intimate new store design” to showcase the brand’s more innovative products.

The 1,200-sf stores on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles and Bleecker Street in New York’s Greenwich Village will feature limited edition items in an intimate boutique environment designed to drive interest in the brand by attracting more upscale, fashion-conscious consumers, the company says.

“With these concept boutiques, we will be entering new territory for the Coach brand, essentially allowing us to see how far we can take Legacy as a stand-alone concept,” Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director of Coach, says in a statement. Krakoff says the boutiques will be designed to appeal to trendsetters and style innovators who can fuel excitement about the brand.

Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer of Coach, Inc., says in a statement that the intimacy of the smaller boutique environment will allow the stores to serve as “laboratories” where the firm can focus on its most innovative products and pilot emerging collections as part of the brand’s evolution.

“The new Legacy concept boutiques will provide a different take on Coach, conveying the intimacy of the brand and giving us the opportunity to expand our appeal with our more sophisticated consumer, as our limited edition product becomes a more important part of our offering,” he says.

Coach already has 25 Legacy shops within its existing stores but no stand-alone boutiques. The firm said it plans to expand its Legacy shops to 10 existing stores worldwide in fiscal 2008.

The new concept stores, designed by the Coach Architecture Group, will feature cream and mahogany awnings and a new horse and carriage logo on the exterior and have an interior designed with wood floors, Venetian plaster and white-painted panel walls. Displays built of natural wood with polished bronze finishes will highlight an array of Coach items, including handbags, accessories, outerwear, footwear, jewelry and fragrances.

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