China openings ahead for company founder Ralph Lauren

China openings ahead for company founder Ralph Lauren

US fashion firm Polo Ralph Lauren is laying out a long-term strategy to open its own stores in the important Chinese retail market.

Roger Farah, president and COO of Polo Ralph Lauren, told investors last week that the company needed a direct approach in the country.

"For us in China it is about going direct-to-customer through our own bricks and mortar," he said.

The plans are in line with a wider company strategy to gain more control of its operations across Asia, including its important Japanese and South Korean markets.

Farah said that company-owned stores would elevate the brand in China. He said that Chinese shoppers also had an "extraordinary impact" on sales in other parts of the world they had travelled too.

"What's happening in China is clearly major city growth in the Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong regions. But a lot of second and third tier cities are now beginning to gel and exhibiting the same customer demand," he added.

Last week, the company raised its full-year profit outlook after third-quarter profit soared by 52% to US$168m.