Ralph Lauren Is A #ValueTrap

Ralph Lauren Is A #ValueTrap - rl image

This Ralph Lauren (RL) CEO announcement is laughable. Seriously… I laughed. Let me get this straight… Fire the best and most innovative CEO in Retail, and hire a new CEO from a company that no longer has it in its DNA to grow (P&G). Truth be told, I don’t know Louvet’s approach to running business. But Larsen was #Retail5.0 poster-child. Louvet’s experience pegs him as #3.0.

Ralph himself not being on this RL call – and leaving it up to the 9-month old CFO to announce the new CEO hire (who starts in two months) – is an embarrassment. This is the first time in my 23-year career I’ve been on a call where the only person represented is someone who has been on the job for 9 months. That was Ralph telling us “I don’t care about Class A holders.” The company does not even realize how bad this is – which speaks volumes.

I’m not knocking your track record by any stretch Jane — but shareholders deserve to hear from Ralph. Why are you announcing your new Boss instead of his Boss? Where is he, and why does he not think it’s important enough to be on this conference call?

This company is a melting ice cube. #ValueTrap

 

  • Wholesale in the US was down 21%, margins down 200bp, AND same store sales comps were -12% -- more than doubling the Street’s expected decline.
  • E-comm is declining. Yes, declining. If there was only one stat in the world I needed to see for any company, that’s it.
  • I’m getting to $4.63 implied guide. Next year RL will be lucky to earn $4.25, barring meaningful cost cuts from here.
  • Cost cuts don’t work when you need to grow a brand.

It’s truly sad what has happened to what was once a great Brand AND a Great company (and the stock goes hand in hand with both). Short more RL -- overearning by 40%.