Ralph Lauren: Where It Began, What It Offers, and Who It’s up Against

Ralph Lauren was founded by Ralph Lauren in 1967 and offers apparel, accessories, home products, and fragrances under several well-known brand names.

Sonya Bells - Author

Apr. 26 2016, Published 2:07 p.m. ET


About Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren (RL) was founded by Ralph Lauren in 1967. The company offers apparel, accessories, home products, and fragrances under several well-known brand names such as Ralph Lauren Women’s Collection, Lauren Ralph Lauren, and Ralph by Ralph Lauren.

The company had a strong international presence and derived 37% of its net revenues in fiscal 2015 from outside the US. The company outsources the manufacturing of its products to 700 different manufacturers worldwide and does not directly operate any production facilities. Notably, the First Trust Large Cap Value AlphaDex ETF (FTA) invests 0.69% of its holdings in Ralph Lauren.

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Products and brands offered by RL

RL has a diversified product portfolio which can be categorized into four broad categories:

  1. Apparel: RL sells its clothing under several internationally recognized brand lines that vary in price points and demographic targets. Prominent brands include Ralph Lauren Women’s Collection, Purple Label, Black Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Polo Sport, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, Chaps, and Club Monaco.
  2. Accessories: RL sells footwear, eyewear, watches, fine jewelry, hats, belts, and handbags, which are sold under various brand names, including Lauren Ralph Lauren, Double RL, and Club Monaco.
  3. Home: RL’s home products include bedding and bath products, furniture, fabric and wallpaper, lighting, paint, and more.
  4. Fragrance: RL sells both men’s and women’s fragrances under numerous brands.

Distribution channels and competition

RL’s products are sold through a variety of distribution channels, including wholesale, retail, and licensing. The company classifies its distribution channels into three different reporting segments.

RL competes with numerous global designers and manufacturers of apparel and accessories, fragrances, and home furnishing products. Some of its close competitors include Burberry Group, Coach (COH), Estée Lauder (EL), LVMH, PVH Corporation (PVH), and VF Corporation (VFC).

In the next part, we’ll start to analyze RL’s revenue segments and financial performances.


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