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  • Shares of Ralph Lauren (RL) fell 3% Friday on reports department stores, including Macy's (M) and Dillards (DDS), are looking to RL for assistance in order to discount items to clear inventory. "Feedback suggests RL and these retailers have yet to come to any agreement as the quarter draws to a close," says Detwiler Fenton. [View news story]
    Wake up folks. TJX Corp. get odds and ends. The quality of the limited pinpoint oxfords (core to the few legit discounter left) and a few fancy dress shirts that were just dogs, are very limited. RL hardly sends full line goods to their own off price stores. They are well merchandised and controlled firm. They wrote the book on how retail remains healthy for many long before it became evident that the transition was underway. Markdown money in most cases has been offset by the Vendors owning in some way shape or form the real estate which the brands occupy in the stores.
    Now due likely to the incompetence of the 'planning process", formerly known as buying, the stores are now going back to RL for margin relief. The business is so mechanized today that if bloody markdowns are necessary, it;'s a result of a keypunch error on the part of the stores. RL is a very disciplined firm. Go back ten years when it's present leader came in and revolutionized the company's entire sourcing strategy. Macy's, Dillard's (are there any other's left), are seeing the result of over assorting their floors with vendors who duplicate offerings just because they are willing to insure margins.
    The math does not lie. Pedestrian brand shoppers are not turning away from these two giants and looking for the independent specialty store again.. Why? If still alive, they have discipline.If I were RL management I'd tell the stores to simply reimburse my relief to you in the form of stock options.
    David Albahari
    Feb 3 05:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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