May 26, 2010, 9:03 AM

Ralph Lauren plans e-commerce in the UK by fall of 2010

Web stores specific to other countries will follow during the next few years.

Ralph Lauren Media LLC plans to develop e-commerce sites in Europe, beginning with the United Kingdom this fall. Web stores specific to other countries will follow during the next few years, Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer, told analysts on the company’s year-end earnings call.

“There is no question that the customer around the world increasingly wants to shop online, and those who do tend to be more valuable customers for us, particularly if they also shop at our brick-and-mortar stores,” Farah told analysts. “While our European e-commerce initiative will be managed in-market, we are leveraging our team in the United States and our existing technology and distribution partners, to help ensure a successful launch.”

Ralph Lauren, No. 76 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide also is planning to develop e-commerce in Asia, specifically in Japan and China, Farah said. The timetable was not disclosed.

Ralph Lauren has yet to break out e-commerce sales for fiscal 2010. For the fiscal year ended April 3, 2010, Ralph Lauren reported:

  • Net sales were $4.79 billion, a 1% decline from $4.82 billion in the prior year.
  • Retail sales were up about 9.5% to $2.3 billion compared to $2.1 billion in fiscal 2009.
  • Comparable-store sales rose 1%.

Net income was up 18.2% to $480 million from $406 million in the prior year.

  • For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, the company reported:
  • Total revenue was $1.29 billion, a 9.3% increase from $1.18 billion in Q4 of 2009.
  • Retail sales rose about 31% to $554 million, from $422 million.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 16%.
  • Net income was up 153.3% to $114 million from net income of $45 million in Q4 of 2009



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