Japan's Battle of the Luxe Bags

Like two women fighting over the last hot bag at a department-store sale, Coach and Louis Vuitton, makers of luxury handbags, are in a tussle--over Japanese shoppers. In early March, Coach complained to the Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) that LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton was, among other things, strong-arming department stores, threatening to pull the Louis Vuitton brand if Coach opened or expanded within shops where Vuitton already sells.

At stake is the indispensable Japanese market: Japan's consumers spend more money on luxury goods than anyone else in the world, and they account for a monster portion of revenue, 25%...

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