Morningstar Rating

Stock Research and Analysis

by Paul Swinand

Bulls Say

With a small owned retail footprint outside North America, Ralph Lauren has ample runway for international expansion, both in Europe and Asia.
Ralph Lauren remains a traffic driver, giving department stores the incentive to keep significant floor space available for its merchandise.
By expanding its specialty retail store base, the company is gaining control of the price at which its goods are sold. This should lead to improved merchandise margins. Read more 

Bears Say

A large portion of the firm's profitability has been tied to department stores, which have been ceding market share for years. Macy's is its largest customer, and the wholesale business could stumble if same-store sales soften.
Although Ralph Lauren has been successful at placing its products in both luxury and more aspirational channels, too much distribution through the lower-priced stores could tarnish the premium image of the brand.
Despite the fact that Ralph Lauren's styles have a certain heritage, if consumer tastes depart from the brand's fashion sense, sales could suffer. Read more 


Ralph Lauren founded the firm in 1967 and has been CEO and chairman since the initial public offering in 1997. In general, we find overall corporate governance to be somewhat in favor of insiders, but overall we rate stewardship of capital as Standard,  Read more 


Ralph Lauren markets, designs, sources, and distributes a wide range of apparel and accessories through department stores, specialty retailers, and its own chain of retail   Read more 

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