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Ralph Lauren

In: Business and Management

Submitted By jschmied
Words 1081
Pages 5
Jason Schmied
Mr. T
Introduction to Business
20 November 2013
Ralph Lauren Polo Ralph Lauren was born on October 14, 1939 as Ralph Lifshitz, in Bronx, New York City. He was born into a Jewish family, originally from Belarus, as one of three boys. When he turned sixteen, he and his brother Jerry changed his last name legally to Lauren, after being made fun of in school. However, his brother Lenny kept the original last name. Lauren began his study of business at Baruch College in Manhattan for two years, then served in the Army for a short time, and later became a salesman at Brooks Brothers (Ralph Lauren Bio). In 1967, finally fed up with selling other people’s neckties, Lauren began making his own neckwear. With no experience in fashion besides selling men’s clothing, Lauren was still able to convince Beau Brummel to manufacture his Polo line of neckwear, and began selling his Polo brand in large department stores, such as Bloomingdales. In 1968, he created his own company – Polo Fashion – with the help of his brother Jerry and a $50,000 loan. Along with the neckwear, Polo expanded into men suits, shirts, and sportswear. Lauren received the Coty Award for menswear in 1970, and following this achievement, designed a line of women’s tailored shirt in a classic men’s style. Within three years from the start of Polo Fashion, sales were already reaching $10 million (Polo History).
In 1971, the company began offering franchises to allow the entire store to focus on the image. The first short-sleeved cotton tee shirt with the signature Polo logo was released in twenty-four colors and a full line of womenswear in 1972. However, this year Lauren’s company almost went bankrupt due to his lack in financial managing. To save his business Lauren invested $100,000 of his savings in it and persuaded Peter Strom to be his partner, and they changed the structure of the company. Polo Fashion was at first a full service company – doing everything from design, to manufacturing, to distributing – but changed to a limited company to only focus on design and let wholesalers do the manufacturing and distributing. Lauren then licensed the Polo womenswear to Stuart Kreisler, who was an experienced manufacturer. Another license agreement that helped the growth of Polo Fashion was with Cosmair Inc. In the early 1980s, Lauren licensed the fragrance production to Cosmair Inc. to develop and promote the products because the product was not selling. In 1990, from the help of Cosmair, the Polo fragrances took off, and by the end of two years reached $50 million in sales. However, the licensing agreement with J.P. Stevens Company to promote Polo’s home collection in 1983 was not so successful. J.P. Stevens had trouble getting the products to retailers on time and maintaining quality control. It took a few years to get the home collection back in the market (Polo History).
In 1986, the flagship retail store – 20,000 square foot Rhinelander mansion on Madison Avenue in New York City – opened, as well as another flagship in Paris. In 1987, Polo Fashions changed its name to Polo/Ralph Lauren Corporation. Throughout the 90s until today, Lauren released more and more lines coming up with new ideas and opened stores all over the world to expand Polo. Polo went public on June13, 1997 on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1999, Lauren bought out a trendy clothing store in Toronto known as, Club Monaco Inc., for $80 million because it attracted younger customers and it was what he needed to beat out Tommy Hilfiger. Polo also formed a joint venture with NBC in 2000 (Polo History). As of today, Polo has about 80 Ralph Lauren shops, 160 outlet stores, 70 Club Monaco stores, over 100 international stores, and nine flagship stores from Paris, to Moscow, to Japan. It also has a profit of about $700 million (Ralph Lauren).
Polo has a variety of product lines. The clothing line has many brand names such as Polo Ralph Lauren, which is your normal apparel of shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, jackets, jeans, dress shirts, pants, shorts, etc; Rugby line which is for preppsters; Golf line; Black label which is the most expensive with jackets costing up to $3000; Purple label for guys and Blue label for girls which is the second most expensive; RLX which is athleticwear; Denim and Supply which consists of denim; Pink Pony which is for breast cancer. Polo product lines also consist of shoes, jewelry, watches, and fragrances. Dog walk is a line for dog sweaters and collars. Polo has line for paint, bedding, bath, and home décor. It even has a restaurant line, which are located in Chicago and Paris. Polo is also the official outfitter for the U.S. Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Olympic team (Ralph Lauren: Shop). Polo’s target market is everyone. It has clothing for babies, children, boys, girls, men, and women. Its main focus is to have a classy look, so it is very popular in business with suits, ties, and dress shirts. This also is popular with little kids because all the parents want their kids to look cute and classy. Right now the main focus for Polo is definitely college kids. It is the main attire of every University.
Polo promotes his business by its main joint venture NBC by providing $100 million in advertising for the next five years. Other companies owned by NBC such as NBCi, CNBC, and ValueVision also provide advertisement. Polo also promotes its company through fashion magazines such as Vogue and large department store magazines such Macys (Kaufman). I do not have any future recommendations for Ralph Lauren because he is doing a pretty good job. Right now Polo is being bought by everyone. It is beating its competition such as Tommy and Lacoste because of the lower prices but by still being classy. I think Polo is doing great.

Works Cited
Kaufman, Leslie. "The Media Business: Advertising; NBC Helps Ralph Lauren Fulfill a Multimedia Dream." The New York Times. The New York Times, 08 Feb. 2000. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
"Polo/Ralph Lauren Corporation History." Funding Universe. Funding Universe, 2004. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
"Ralph Lauren." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
"Ralph Lauren Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.
"Ralph Lauren: Shop Clothing for Men, Women, Children & Babies.” Ralphlauren.com. Ralph Lauren, 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.

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