Why Coach Is Changing Its Name to Tapestry

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Luxury goods maker Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) announced on Wednesday that by the end of the month it will be known as Tapestry Inc. The move is meant to better incorporate the company’s various brands, which now include Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade, along with Coach bags and leather goods.

The name change is also meant to appeal to younger shoppers, to reflect “a commitment to be approachable” and to allow the company to grow into new categories, the company said. However, the Coach brand name will remain on those products and stores.

CEO Victor Luis said in the release:

We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, having evolved from a mono-brand specialty retailer to a true house of emotional, desirable brands. In Tapestry, we found a name that speaks to creativity, craftsmanship, authenticity and inclusivity on a shared platform.

The reaction on social media was perhaps not what the company had hoped for, with many questioning or even mocking the decision to change identities after 76 years. Investors also drove the share price down almost 3% on Wednesday to $38.87, in a 52-week trading range of $34.07 to $48.85.

Piper Jaffray downgraded Coach to Neutral from Overweight last week, but earlier Sanford Bernstein started the shares at Outperform with a $51 price target. The consensus target price currently is $48.91

Corporate history is full of name changes, for a great variety of reasons, from Philip Morris becoming Altria and Research in Motion becoming BlackBerry to Kentucky Fried Chicken changing to KFC and WWF becoming WWE. Even tech colossus Google was once known as Back Rub.

Coach will also change its ticker symbol from COH to TPR at the end of the month and will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange.