Ralph Lauren is on track to open 90 new stores this year and will open additional localized ecommerce sites as the brand takes advantage of strong quarterly results, executives said in an investor call. Revenue grew 26% to $1.5 billion in Q2 2022 due to double-digit sales growth in all regions.
The brand is working to “make sure we are in tune with local markets and the operating dynamics that we’re working with today,” according to CFO Jane Nielsen. The company feels that now is the right time to invest in localized websites in particular, which “have a very strong ROI and payback after the first 10 months.”
Success for the brand’s own retail operations may be leading Ralph Lauren to shift some of its attention away from its wholesale business. The brand’s owned digital commerce sales rose 35% during Q2 2022, and revenues from its overall global digital ecosystem climbed approximately 45%.
Officials didn’t offer any details on what the localization efforts would entail, but it’s likely they tie into the announcement that Ralph Lauren will seek to drive targeted expansion in various regions. Stores on the Chinese mainland in particular grew sales by more than 25% despite continued COVID-19-related lockdowns, helping boost the overall Asian market despite reduced sales in Japan.
Ralph Lauren also opened its second Emblematic concept store, which emphasizes omnichannel operations, in Shanghai during Q2. The first store, located in Beijing, features a cafe, digital activations including endless aisle technology, virtual try-ons and stations where shoppers can order customized products from their phones, according to Jing Daily.
An emphasis on retail operations also would build on the subscription rental service the brand launched earlier in 2021. That initiative was partly aimed at building connections with and better understanding customers, so establishing a direct line to shoppers through stores and websites is in line with this goal.
“Ralph Lauren remains on offense — our market share is growing and we are increasing our investments to deliver on further opportunities for growth,” said Patrice Louvet, President and CEO of Ralph Lauren in a statement. “Even as we continue to navigate a volatile global environment, we are confident in our ability to sustain our momentum.”