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Coach vs Coach Outlet Bags: Here's What You Need to Know

Coach vs Coach Outlet Bags: Here's What You Need to Know

Coach has long been recognized as a leading handbag brand from the United States, celebrated for its exceptional quality and accessible price points. However, for savvy shoppers seeking to maximize the value, Coach Outlet stores offer a tempting alternative. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between Coach's general stores and their outlet counterparts, helping you get the best possible prices for Coach bags.


Coach History

Coach is a well-known American luxury brand that was founded in 1941 in Manhattan, New York. The company started as a family-owned workshop, specializing in leather goods and accessories. Today, Coach is one of the most popular handbag brands in the world. Coach has expanded over the years to include clothing, jewelry, and other accessories, but the brand's handbags continue to be its most coveted products.

Coach Outlets, on the other hand, did not emerge until 1972. These stores were designed to sell Coach products at a discounted price, primarily targeting budget-conscious shoppers. In recent years, Coach Outlets have become increasingly popular, attracting a range of consumers looking for quality handbags at affordable prices.


General Coach Stores vs. Coach Outlets: Location

The most significant difference between Coach stores versus Coach Outlets is their location.

Coach's traditional brick-and-mortar stores, strategically positioned in bustling shopping malls and renowned retail districts, cater to customers seeking the latest collections and freshest designs. Here, the brand offers the full Coach experience, including a curated selection of handbags, shoes, clothing, and more. The prices at these locations reflect the brand's enduring reputation, with minimal discounts offered, except during select promotional periods.

However, in 1972, Coach introduced a new concept that would revolutionize the accessibility of their products: Coach Outlet stores. These outlets, often situated in outlet malls or standalone centers, enticed price-conscious shoppers seeking quality products at discounted prices. Coach Outlets feature an extensive range of merchandise, including past-season items, overstocked inventory, and exclusive outlet-only pieces. These offerings allow Coach to cater to a wider audience while remaining true to their commitment to craftsmanship and quality.

General Coach Stores vs. Coach Outlets: Price Comparison

The prices of handbags at Coach stores compared to Coach Outlets can vary significantly. Coach stores typically sell handbags at full price, with minimal discounts during promotional periods. In contrast, Coach Outlets are known for offering significant discounts, sometimes up to 70% off the original price.

To illustrate the difference in pricing between the two types of stores, consider the following three examples of the best Coach bags:

  1. The Coach Parker Convertible Backpack - This popular Coach handbag retails for $398 at a Coach store. At a Coach Outlet, the same bag may sell for as low as $239.

  2. The Coach Tabby Shoulder Bag - A classic Coach design priced at $398 in stores. At a Coach Outlet, the same bag may sell for $199.

  3. The Coach Marlow Turnlock Chain Crossbody - This smaller, crossbody bag retails for $345 at a Coach store. At a Coach Outlet, a shopper may find it priced as low as $129.

Considering the affordability of their bags, a lot of people argue whether Coach is indeed a luxury brand. What do you think?


General Coach Stores vs. Coach Outlets: Bag Quality

One of the most common misconceptions about Coach Outlets is that the bags sold at these stores is of lower quality than the products sold at Coach stores. These misconceptions are often based on experience with other designer brands. For instance, Gucci outlets are known for lower quality. This is not necessarily true. The merchandise sold at Coach Outlets is often from past seasons or overstocked items, with slight variations in hardware or design details, but the quality of the materials and craftsmanship remain consistent.

In fact, Coach Outlets are known for selling rare, limited edition bags and accessories that are not available at general Coach stores. Additionally, Coach Outlets employ skilled craftsmen and women who have expertise in handbag repair and restoration, providing an added level of assurance for customers who may need their bags repaired in the future.



In summary, the differences between general Coach stores versus Coach Outlets can be seen in their location, pricing, and perceived quality of their merchandise. While Coach stores tend to be located in high-end retail areas, selling handbags at full price, Coach Outlets are found in outlet malls, offering significant discounts on past-season merchandise.

The quality of the merchandise sold at Coach Outlets is comparable to that of Coach stores, with slight variations in hardware or design details. Ultimately, the decision to shop at a Coach store versus a Coach Outlet will depend on the shopper's budget and preference for new, full-price merchandise versus discounted items from past seasons.

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