August 6, 2008, 12:00 AM

Ralph Lauren brings e-commerce to Rugby.com

Ralph Lauren Media will introduce Web 2.0-powered e-commerce this month to Rugby.com, which will join RalphLauren.com as the company’s second apparel retail site.

Ralph Lauren Media LLC will introduce Web 2.0-powered e-commerce this month to Rugby.com, which will join RalphLauren.com as the company’s second apparel and accessories retail site. Some Rugby stores will mark the debut with touch-screen e-commerce windows.

Rugby.com, currently a brochure site, will introduce e-commerce by the middle of this month, the retailer says. The site will provide several interactive Web 2.0 features, including videos that let shoppers click images of garments in a video to get more product details and the option to make an online purchase. Dynamic product videos are designed to show how apparel items fit and move on a person.

"We are thrilled to extend Rugby`s reach to a larger audience,” says David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising, marketing and communications for Polo Ralph Lauren. “Rugby.com presents a dynamic online shopping experience by recreating our unique retail environment in an innovative and impactful way on the Internet-we are engaging our customer like never before."

Rugby, which operates 12 brick-and-mortar stores in high-end shopping districts, will offer interactive e-commerce windows at several store locations including New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. The interactive windows, first offered on Ralph Lauren stores in 2006 for shopping on RalphLauren.com, will let shoppers use a touch-screen interface on Rugby store windows to shop and place orders on Rugby.com.

Rugby.com’s front-end customer experience environment was developed by Ralph Lauren’s Interactive Creative Group with GSI Commerce Inc. supporting the check-out process, a Ralph Lauren spokesman says. Ralph Lauren Media is No. 87 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

Rugby.com will offer a broad line of Rugby products for the retailer’s target consumer base of 18-25-year-old men and women that up until now have only been available through Rugby stores. A “Make Your Own” feature will let shoppers customer shirts with particular Rugby logos, color patterns and monograms. The site is being redesigned in a way that “reflects the Ivy League, irreverent sensibility of the brand-traditional collegiate colors take on a contemporary look with a heritage navy, brick red and royal plum accenting the golden, vintage newspaper background,” the retailer says.

The site is also providing a Rugby Blog featuring a Rugby Style guide, offering fashion news, videos and tips from Rugby stylists. The blog will also allow customers to enter comments on Rugby fashions.

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