There are some abstract that never go out of appearance — Ralph Lauren (RL) has the balance to prove it. The $6.9 billion that it fabricated in budgetary 2012 outstrips by $1 billion what competitors such as PVH Corp. (PVH) (which owns Tommy Hilfiger) hauled in and is alert what Burberry fabricated aftermost year. The preppy-apparel behemothic is one of the industry’s best constant performers, additional alone to the VF Corp. (VFC), which owns North Face, in abiding growth. VF added its acquirement 23% aftermost year; acquirement at Ralph Lauren went up 21% — and has developed in 14 of the accomplished 15 years. Smart all-embracing amplification — including aperture several higher-end food in China to cloister the affluence bazaar — may tee up the aggregation for a advance spurt: Analysts at Morgan Stanley say it stands to add $2.5 billion to its acquirement with across sales. Three means the American appearance abode is gluttonous all-around ascendancy while befitting it classy.
A acceptable yarn
Chairman and CEO Ralph Lauren (born Ralph Lifshitz), the Bronx-born son of an immigrant housepainter, has riffed on an arcadian American high crust, starting with a band of Polo-branded ties in 1967. His appearance has a story, and the adventure is Gatsbyesque. “Lauren pioneered the abstraction of affairs branding,” says Liz Dunn, an analyst at Macquarie. The U.S. Olympic Committee stood by the aggregation this summer afterward account that athletes’ accoutrement had been fabricated in China.
The aggregation ingratiates itself with consumers at every amount point by slicing its angel abounding ways. At the top: $3,000 double-ed cardigan sweaters from the Purple Label. At the bottom: Chaps cast accouterment and home goods. Some brands affect cultish devotion. Enthusiasts alleged ‘Lo Heads aggregate Polo and Ralph Lauren accessory — ties, shirts, and jackets by the hundreds — from the 1980s.
In the accomplished decade Ralph Lauren acquired added ascendancy of its cast accession overseas, affairs aback licenses in Japan and South Korea and administration rights in China.
World’s Best Admired Rank: 47Headquarters: New YorkEmployees: 26,000
The business: Designs, distributes, and sells apparel, home décor, and accessories through added than 20 brands — including Polo, Club Monaco, Chaps, and Rugby.
This adventure is from the October 29, 2012 affair of Fortune.
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