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, but particularly in Asia and China.
Ralph Lauren and the Polo brand still have premium images that department stores need, giving merchants the incentive to devote stores space to drive traffic and a premium image.
Ralph Lauren still has room to expand its retail store base, particularly in Asia where it seeks to control its brands and presentations, all of which should improve 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, overdistribution and the proliferation of sub-brands could dilute the core brand's equity.
Despite the fact that Ralph Lauren's styles have a certain heritage, if consumer tastes depart from the brand's fashion imagery, sales could suffer. Read more 

Management

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 

Profile

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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