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.
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