Repositioning Ralph Lauren for Growth in China


Despite growing demand for luxury brands in China, Ralph Lauren is struggling to gain a foothold. There are problems with counterfeit polo shirts, a confusing brand image, wrong retail store location choices, low store traffic, and strong competition from European luxury brands. After terminating its relationship with its Asian distributor, Ralph Lauren closed most of its stores and focused on its high-end labels to reestablish its positioning as a luxury brand. But consumers remained unconvinced of this luxury positioning and the company’s operations in China continued to make losses. The company badly needs to increase sales there to offset stagnating sales in North America. The case invites students to analyze the luxury market in China and provide recommendations on the steps Ralph Lauren should take to communicate its luxury positioning, increase sales, and fight counterfeits.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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