Ralph Lauren 1Q13 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“The operational expertise of our global supply chain organization is one of the company’s most significant competitive advantages. Over the years, our sourcing and logistics team have navigated through not only the growing scope of our global operations across regions, channels and product categories, but also dynamic changes in input costs, all while meeting the company’s high standards of innovation and quality.”

“The extraordinary creativity that is a hallmark and point of pride for our company is matched only by tremendous merchandising discipline that has enabled us to maximize our market share potential.”

“Since we’ve assumed direct control of most of our strategically important merchandise categories and regions, we’ve learned that there’s a great commonality to our worldwide bestsellers. This insight is a foundational principle that grounds our global merchandising organization.

Centralized in New York in order to work in close proximity to Ralph and his design teams, we have built teams made of merchants representing our key regions around the world to work side-by-side in a highly collaborative manner, to conduct global line reviews and plan global buys. These teams work very closely with their respective brand teams across sales, planning and marketing in order to inform their thought process with real-time feedback on sales trend, product performance and marketplace dynamics. We are confident that over time, greater consistency of the product story will drive both product development and production efficiencies that will allow us to leverage our global growing scale and provide opportunity for continued gross margin expansion.”

“We believe a more centralized approach will ensure greater singularity of message, and therefore, global consistency of advertising, marketing and in-store presentations. Creating an even more direct link between Ralph’s vision and the consumer experience across all distribution channels becomes increasingly important as tourists traveling all over the world become a larger subset of our customer base.”

“We’ve learned a lot about the Chinese business. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from the customers both in China, in Southeast Asia, in Europe and the United States. The good news is they are gravitating towards the same looks and categories and items. They clearly want luxury”

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