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Ralph Lauren Corporation Business Strategies

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Ralph Lauren Corporation was founded in 1967 by Ralph Lauren who is an American fashion designer. The company’s headquarter is situated in New York City, New York. Ralph Lauren Corporation is known as a world leader in design, retailing and transportation of luxurious products, involving clothing, home, accessories and perfume. The company consists three distribution channels which are wholesale, retail, and licensing. The company manages its business through numerous regions like North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Ralph Lauren Corporation has several brand names which are Ralph Lauren Collection, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Chaps, Club Monaco and Polo Ralph Lauren . The first product that the company started to sell was men’s ties.

In 1968, the company invented and produced a complete range of menswear. In 1970, Ralph Lauren Corporation launched its very first store in Bloomingdale’s. It launched the Polo shirt and its first full women’s collection in 1972. Polo for Men was introduced six years later and funded by the TV advertisement features some polo players. In 1981, the company entered the European market and has its first store at New Bond Street in London. In 1986, the company has launched its first flagship store on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street in New York City. Double RL which is a brand of the company has made its debut in 1993. The company also launched Purple Label after two years. In 1997, The company made $1 billion sales and it turned into a publicly-traded company. The company established its website with Polo.com in 2000. And in 2010, the company has its flagship store and a restaurant was opened in Paris . The company has licenses for about 300 manufacturers and 100 retail outlets in the world. Meanwhile, it also has 240 stores in the United States.

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Their mission statement is to create a positive effect on the society and a more sustainable future. On the other hand, the vision statement of Ralph Lauren Corporation is to be a global leader in the aspect of design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products . The objective of Ralph Lauren Corporation is to stimulate the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style .

 Contents

Company management functions

There are four management functions of the Ralph Lauren Corporation which are planning, organizing, leading and controlling. In planning, the company has set five years strategic priorities which are as follows: persuade the new age group of consumers, stimulate the core products and speed up the under-developed brand, stimulate targeted product growth in its regions and channel, conduct all of the activities in digital and strictly control to expand the business .“Writing our great next chapter” and long-term financial outlook”, 2018). In addition, there are three major areas on Global Citizenship and Sustainability, Design the change strategy which is to generate a timeless style, protect the environment and encourage on a greater lives.

For organizing. the leader will coordinate and assign the activities to the employees once the goal of the company is set. Ralph Lauren who founded the company in 1967, he take the role as Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer in the company. Patrice Louvet is a Chief Executive Officer and President of the company. He is responsible in making the top-level managerial and major decision of the company, manage the performance and resources of the company, implement long-term strategies which are the Next Great Chapter Strategy of the company, in charge of the long-term growth of the company and leading the company with its short-term and long-term strategy (Ralph Lauren Corporation, n.d.-d).

In leading, the company motivates its employee by recognizing their achievement, directing its employees on the task and managing them in a proper way. The company hosts an online employee communication and engagement channel among the employees. It also celebrates its employees from different background by hosting more than 50 cultural events. As for controlling, the company monitors the results, take action of the task and make amendment if an error occurred in controlling. The human resources department also conduct employees engagement survey every year on the company areas for improvements such as career advancement opportunities and freedom of decision-making. The company will review its supply base of their supply chain regularly. In addition, the company formed an internal Manufacturing Excellence team in executing the best production control processes and quality system in order to increase the productivity and efficiency of the company .

Organization culture

Ralph Lauren Corporation has adhered to inclusion and diversity and it is one of the core values of the company. The company focuses the employees to work together, work hard and strive for the best. It is dedicated to the culture of diversity and inclusion where the company acquires employees from different background, culture and personalities in order to become a great company. (Refer to appendix 5) The employees could find a sense of belonging and could improve more on themselves in the company as well. The company celebrates all of its employees from different cultures and backgrounds such as heritage month activities, philanthropy and community investment (Ralph Lauren Corporation, n.d.-a). The company has an employee-led group which is a diversity and inclusion team and also a community where employees could share their stories with the company and listen to other employees’ stories The company also invests its employees’ development and encourages the culture of constant learning and skill raising of employees. (Refer to appendix 6)

Leadership style and motivational style

In 2018, The Ralph Lauren Corporation motivated its employees such as 10-week campaign, featuring videos of the nominated employees who represent the company’s culture values. The company also gratitude its members for their hard work by coming up with an employee event featuring in the company’s 50th Anniversary Fashion Show (Ralph Lauren Corporation, 2019). The stories of employees have been put on the company behind the scenes podcast which features interviews of the employees come up with transformative efforts like the customizable product line. The CEO and Ralph Lauren will hold live-streamed events worldwide semiannually in order to celebrate and acknowledge its employee achievements and contributions to the company. Furthermore, Bravo! Program which launched in the final year 2018 to support the employees who provide better results, represent the culture of the company. In 2019, Bravo! e-cards were delivered and received approximately 28,000 employees. The company also values its employees who work for the company for more than 10 years by giving away the legacy award.

Human Resource Management Practices

The human resources management employ the employees who must have various talent pipeline. The human resources also expands recruiting its employees with talent at career fairs and college for young adults, veteran and LGBTQIA+. Besides, the company implements the global people practice under the company’s fair treatment policy by controlling workplace compliance, strategies and applications, progressive work execution and safe and fair review . The company holds various educational programs such as RUNWAY, UNLOCK and BESPOKE on learning tailored for employees at different levels of the company . The management also makes an effort to attract and retain talented employees. The company meets its employees’ needs by compensating its employees as well.

Change and Innovation process

In addition, the company has launched an app called The Polo App since 2018.In the same year. The company also launched a program called manufacturing on demand that create its own sweater. The customer could customize their sweater based on their preferences and taste, and the sweater will be knitted and delivered to customers within two weeks. Another innovative product that the company produces is the RL Heat. The company has created a limited-edition spacesuit Polo 11 Heated jacket and Glacier Down Jacket. It is a heated outerwear technology and can be controlled via Bluetooth through the RL Heat app. The jacket’s heat can last to three hours and can be charged by mophie power bank

 Findings

Who is/are the Top Leader(s) of the company, and under what circumstances did they become a leader?

The top leader of the Ralph Lauren Corporation is Patrice Louvet. Before he entered the Ralph Lauren Corporation, he was the group president at the beauty division for Procter & Gamble (Danziger, 2019). He did mandatory services for two years in the French Navy where he learned discipline and experience as a team leader. He has more than 25 years experiences working at Procter & Gamble as the company focuses on training and personal development. He joined the Procter & Gamble marketing team in 1989 as he enjoys ascertain new areas and loves challenges.

Moreover, he once moved to Japan for the position of general manager for healthcare and hair care and successfully manage the healthcare and hair care business in multiple regions. He became the global director for Pantene and he made it became the 1st in the hair care brand . He took on the role of the vice president for the Global Prestige Products unit of Procter & Gamble in 2008. He had managed the consumer goods corporation in 25 years. He also led the global grooming division like Gillette and global prestige division such as Gucci and Hugo Boss Besides, he had brought in $11.5 billion in revenue in 2016, meanwhile supervising global beauty at Procter & Gamble. Ralph Lauren saw his potential and appointed him to be the Chief Executive Officer in Ralph Lauren Corporation in May. At the end, he retired from Procter & Gamble and took the role of Chief Corporate Officer in Ralph Lauren Corporation in July 2017.

What issues did they face?

The company faces an extra inventory issue. The longer the lead time in producing the product, the more discrepancy between supply and demand. It could result in the product obsolete if the product remains in the inventory. Usually, the lead time of processing a product from the start to an end takes 15 months. The company also lacks on inventory control and optimization . Furthermore, the company encounters pandemic issues this year in 2020. The company would lay off some of the employees in this situation in order to cover the cost. The corporate officers’ and employees’ salaries have been reduced due to this pandemic issue as well. The company’s net revenue has decreased in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020. The revenue of the company decreased by 15% and reduced 14% in constant currency.

The company faces difficulty in North America compared to Europe and Asia. It meets negative sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 which is -4% compared to Europe and Asia which is 5% and 4% respectively. The wholesale revenue in North America decreased by 10% yearly . This is because there is a small demand for spring fashions and reduction in off-price sales which able to protect the changing price power of the brand and margins but the sales growth gets decreased in the end. Moreover, the operating margin of North America also faced declination from during quarter 4, 2018 and 2019 which is 17.4% to 15.9% respectively. During the pandemic, North America revenue has decreased by 11%.

What are the major strengths of the company?

The Ralph Lauren Corporation has various strengths. The first strength is the company has a diverse range of products. The company sells its products ranging from mid-range to the luxury segment. It has a broad range of products to sell to its customers such as watches, tie, fragrance, sunglasses, bag, jacket, shirt and etc. Secondly, the company has a high brand equity. It sells specialty products that are in a higher prices compare to other companies. The company is well-known for its new and innovative design of the product. Its outstanding in advertising and branding is another reason for making the company become a high-end brand. Therefore, the customers are willing to pay a higher price for the product due to the high brand equity of the company .

Besides, the company has multiple channels. The company sells its products through its channel which is wholesaler and retailer. The company alone has approximately 500 retail stores and factory outlet operate worldwide . The company also manages through department stores, specialty stores and polo shops. Ralph Lauren Corporation sells its product through its websites and e-retailers as well.

 Conclusions

In conclusion, Ralph Lauren Corporation could work well in the future as the company implements its strategies well and has been up to date with the new technologies. Its virtual business will help the company as nowadays, many people like to do online shopping without going to the shop. The Chief Operating, Patrice Louvet has implemented his new strategy of the Design to Change and the Next Great Chapter which has already boosted the company’s future long term goal and sales and also a new direction to achieve its goal. These plans are to generate a timeless style by creating a new fashion style, protect the environment by producing an eco-free product and treats its employees by empowering its employees. The company also concerns the ongoing diversity in which all backgrounds of people could join the company. It has an employee-led group where employees could seek help by sharing stories with the group.

Besides, it has done several charities works such as monetary and product donations to local community groups, provides meals and masks to frontline workers and nonprofit organizations worldwide during this pandemic Covid-19. The human resources management also cares for its employees by creating programs to enhance the employees’ professionalism. It motivates and leads its employees in a good way by awarding and recognizing its employees. The company will sometimes hold fashion show events to display its fashion and unique style. It concerns its product design by sending its employees to a cultural awareness training program that could enhance the design, advertising, digital and marketing of the product .

Furthermore, recommendations would be given to the Ralph Lauren Corporation to increase its sales as the company could design limited edition products and is also high brand equity. The company could advertise frequently on media such as television, social media, newspaper, magazine and etc. The company may also promote more of its designed product to increase their customer’s purchases. 

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