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China outperforms rest of world for Ralph Lauren sales

Ralph Lauren sales in Asia rose by 4 per cent in the first quarter, with China the chief driver in the region.

Asian sales reached US$259 million driven by solid growth in retail channels as opposed to wholesale. Same-store sales rose by 5 per cent which reflecting growing trade through online portals. 

Ralph Lauren plans to open 40 stores in China this financial year. 

Global net revenue reached $1.4 billion with gross profit at $921 million and gross margin 64.4 per cent, producing net income of $117 million, up $8 million from the same period last year. 

Retail Dive observed that Ralph Lauren is showing signs of traction in its “ambitious” turnaround plan, but still faces disappointing traffic trends across channels, especially at home, that forced promotions in the quarter. 

CEO Patrice Louvet sauid during an analysts call that it was seeing success in efforts to appeal to younger consumers, “a tough challenge for any old-school, if iconic, brand,” said Retail Dive. 

GlobalData Retail MD Neil Saunders said the next step for Ralph Lauren is to move younger consumers “beyond buying the occasional fragrance item and into more comprehensive buyers of the brand”. 

“With some of the product changes being made, we believe this shift is possible. Our own data shows that this is working as both awareness and affinity with the under 35s has picked up significantly in the past half year.” 

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