Sure, they've had their moments. But this is a brand who is still notably capable of distilling the essence of your favorite W.A.S.P.'s mahogany-lined "sporting club" locker room, bottling it in a green glass oblong universally treasured by dying people who need to endow that smelly fuckup nephew with something in their will, and continuing to sell it to this day, and sell a ton of it. And not change a thing about it.
Even crazier—or scarier—is that they're just getting around to taking over the world of retail. A report from Womens Wear Daily today explains that not only is Polo making a stupid grip of money, but they are also poised to make far, far more. Latin America and China?
The company on Thursday reported a 34.7 percent jump in fourth quarter profits, beating Wall Streets estimates. [...] The [Polo Ralph Lauren] store concept will "likely become the primary platform by which the brand is distributed in certain international markets such as Asia and parts of Latin America, where the wholesale channel is less developed."
And yes, for all you holier-than-thou #Menswear types who think of themselves as above the reach of Ralph Lauren's long, moneymaking arm, don't forget: Your new Club Monaco swag comes from the Maw of Lauren as well.
The company ended the quarter with 388 directly operated stores — 116 Ralph Lauren stores, 50 Club Monaco stores and 213 Polo factory stores. In addition to company-operated locations, international licensing partners operated 62 Ralph Lauren stores and 32 dedicated shops as well as 64 Club Monaco stores and shops at the end of the fourth quarter.
Lesson: There is some weird universal appeal to wearing a small animal as a logo that taps into the human psyche in a way we will probably never fully understand, other than the fact that exploiting the shit out of this is incredibly, incredibly lucrative.