MANILA, Philippines – More Coach bags, a global aspirational luxury item, will be manufactured in the Philippines as another subcontractor sets up shop in Bataan.
FCF Manufacturing, the local subsidiary of Fashion Focus of China that manufactures bags for the luxury bag brand, is setting up a $10 million factory, according to Deogracias Custodio, chairman and administrator of the Authority of the Freeport of Bataan (AFAB).
China-based Fashion Focus and affiliate Merit Focus are major suppliers of Coach bags with 30-year history of experience in high-end bags, Custodio explained. This is their first venture in the Philippines.
Custodio disclosed that FCF is currently renovating an existing facility in Bataan where it expects to hire 1,000 workers in the first year of operation, ramping up to 2,500 up to 4,000 when in full operations. He said FCF expects to start production by the middle of the year.
FCF’s Bataan plant would the second Coach factory after Luen Thai, which already has a presence in garments manufacturing in the Philippines through its manufacturing facility for Coach bags in Tarlac.
The Tarlac facility, run by D’Luxe Bag Philippines of the Luen Thai Group, started producing last year, initially for wristlet bags. D’Luxe Bag employs 1,200 workers for the Coach factory.
“Coach has a lot of (subcontractors) producing for them,” Custodio said.
Coach is the leading American marketer of luxury lifestyle handbags and other fashion accessories and competes with premium apparel and accessories players like Polo Ralph Lauren’s, Liz Claiborne and AnnTaylor.
Meantime, China is the largest geographical market outside U.S. for Coach, according to Forbes.com. Thus, development of Chinese business remains the highest priority.
For the next quarter, Coach plans to open about 10 new retail stores in mainland China, bringing the total stores in China to about 95 by the end of fiscal year 2012. Coach is aiming for $300 million revenues from its sales in China. – Rappler.com
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