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The Kate Spade brand is dragging down Tapestry

4 months ago by Jared Russo in Earnings, Retail

Update: Not even ten minutes after this story was published, Tapestry made a huge announcement that we cannot confirm nor deny was based on this exact article. CEO Victor Luis has left the company, and chairman Jide Zeitlin will now take over effective immediately. Zeitlin admitted mistakes with the strategy of its three brands, but declared his confidence in Kate Spade, Coach, and Stuart Weitzman. None will be spun off or sold, and as a result, Tapestry shares rose 2.4% after the announcement was made.

It's been more than a full year since Kate Spade tragically died, and the aftermath of the beloved designer's suicide has continued to have an impact on Tapestry, the fashion conglomerate that bought her eponymous label not too long before her death. 

Analysts have been backing away from Tapestry Inc. ($NYSE:TPR), citing a slower-than-expected turnaround. What was once known as Coach now houses three brands (Stuart Weitzman being the other), and looking at the alternative data, Tapestry faces challenges with popular, and expensive, brands.

This specific account is listed as Kate Spade NYC, and does not include the brand Jack Spade. Still, it's hard to find an account that continually loses followers, especially since it saw spikes in popularity. We here at Thinknum don't like to be armchair psychologists for companies, but the entire story surrounding her untimely death might be combining with poor sales and a changing retail enviornment to sink Tapestry's stock price.

The chart above follows Kate Spade's Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) Talking About Count, or how often people interact with a brand on the social network. You can see the spikes on both Twitter and Facebook during last summer when Spade died. There was a spike in interest, followed by a drop in buzz.

The company is still hiring, more and more over time, which means they're bullish on the future. But there is nothing that can dissuade the fact that Tapestry's shares are down more than 50% since last summer. While hiring throughout its brands continues to climb, we would imagine something has to give here.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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