Luxury retailer Ralph Lauren has lagged getting into the Chinese market compared to its luxury retail peers like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. In an effort to boost slow sales in Europe and the U.S., the company is now focusing on mainland China for growth, hoping to tap the country’s huge demand for luxury goods. Earlier in the year, the company took back its Asian distribution rights for its Polo and Ralph Lauren brands from Dickson Concepts (International) Ltd. and moved away from selling products in department stores to focus on its own freestanding retail stores.
As part of its China strategy, Polo Ralph Lauren has opened a boutique and watch salon in the Peninsula Shanghai. The 3,800 square foot store with a light cream interior features both men and women collections. Its men’s collection is one of the most comprehensive in the region. The new store also houses the brand’s first dedicated watch salon, selling Ralph Lauren’s timepieces.
Ralph Lauren plans to open 10 to 15 retail stores annually. It has 10 stores, a factory outlet and three shops in shops in Hong Kong and one store and 32 shops in shops in mainland China.
Due to rampant counterfeiting of Polo products in China, the problem Polo faced is that most people don’t know what is authentic and what is not. With a growing number of Chinese consumers who can afford and want authentic luxury products and now with its own retail stores, Ralph Lauren may finally begin to counter its brand dilution from counterfeiting in China.
photo credit: the peninsula shanghai