We think that Kate Spade is one of the most exciting growth stories in retail today. But most people overlook the fact that there is a Y Chromosome element component of Kate Spade. His name is Jack. With less than a dozen stores open thus far, it has justifiably been under the radar. But one thing is unusual about Jack. With so few stores and virtually no critical mass, it is making money.
A store opened up 5 days ago in New Canaan, CT, and has seemingly gotten off to a very good start. A few thoughts...
1. Only 15-20% of the store is merchandise that falls into the 'murse' category. These guys 'get it' that we cannot expect men to buy leather goods to the same extent that women do.
2. The biggest takeaway is how pristine the merchandising approach is. Look at t he first snapshot below. They don't simply unpack boxes and fill the shelves and racks with goods. Rather, they have each item in every size on the rack. No more and no less. Your size is there to try on, and then the item you buy comes from the stock room with the original unit going back to the rack. It simply looks crisp and neat. It's an approach that most brands wish they could execute like this.
3. The best selling item in the store is a $750 'hard fabric' jacket that is a collaboration with hunting brand Barbour. Jack takes the product, slims it down, tweaks the colors, and makes the fabric more fashion forward. It's quite impressive.
4. Great collection of wallets -- all at price points below $100.
5. Most murses are in the $200-$400 range. They're definitely not yet tapping into the upper echelons of price points in leather goods.
We fully realize that this is a) a single anecdotal view as it relates to Jack Spade, and b) minute as it relates to the bigger issues related to investing in FNP today (ie Juicy blowing up). But great retail concepts are rare. This is one of them.
This is about as clean as it gets. Small, medium and large. If you buy it, they get one from the stock room for you.
Slightly distorted (thank you iPhone 5) panoramic view of one side of the store.