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Why are there no Ralph Lauren stores in Canada?

likeitaloud

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I'm not asking where I can get Ralph Lauren clothing but is this some kind of business competition problem? RL has stores in just about every country large and small and yet non in the country it would make the most sense to expand too. Same goes for just about any other US brand like Brooks brothers,J.Crew,J.Press, Burberry...Hell RL has a special line of clothing to be sold exclusively in Russia, do they really have no faith in Canadians shopping at their stores?

And it's not like Canada has some big monopoly that would not allow them to operate here. There is a huge shortage of quolity formal wear. So whhy?
 

Wrenkin

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Brooks Brothers is currently under construction in Vancouver. They do have RL boutiques in Holt Renfrew, but $$$.
 

thinksimple

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I'm sure is has something to do with leasing space from Holt's, and/or distribution issues, insofar as another company may be representing RL in Canada. I am purely speculating and don't know enough about these issues to speak with confidence about them, but I'm assuming there's a good reason as to why you haven't seen any of those stores yet.

What I DO know is that many brands represented in larger, department-like stores (such as Holt's, or to a degree, something like Sporting Life) pay those stores for floorspace. I know Lacoste was paying big bucks to have boutiques in Holt's, but pulled out in favour of their own stores. Although employees may work at Holt's, some of the different "departments" are their own entities, featuring their own merchandising, and their employees are paid directly by the companies they are representing.

This probably didn't help answer the question, but it was an interesting tidbit I only came to know a few years back.
 

TRINI

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The market isn't big enough.
 

Mildly Consumptive

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There used to be one in Montreal, but it closed some time ago. It was the size of a telephone booth, so it isn't any great loss.
 

likeitaloud

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Yea Canadian clothing business blatently pisses me off. Not only is most of the "better" stuff unavailable but even mid-range stuff is very overpriced and if you are importing from US the taxes you have to pay are just ridiculous. So much for protecting shitty Canadian businesses so people have to deal with low quolity and high prices. So now in Canada the only stores survive are Walmart due to it's size or Old Navy/Moores because they have mid quolity very overpriced clothes. I can't imagine stores that redistribute RL/brooks aren't going to overcharge like crazy.
 

DerekH

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Its too cold here for suits!

We invest our money in hockey equipment.
 

Zegnamtl

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R.L. had leased the rights to all Canadian sales to the same people who held Jones New York in Canada.
They did ok, but never met the sales expectations held by Ralph.

When the term of that deal expired, Ralph pulled the plug and closed the shops.

Now, they are slowly venturing back in to Canada. There is a small boutique at the Holt's in Montreal.

If we step back a few years in time, imagine strolling down Sherbrooke street, past the entrance to the Ritz Carleton, the entrance to the "Jardin du Ritz" and the next door on the beautiful old stone structure is the entrance to the Ralph Lauren boutique. The glamoured ended there!

The shop was never well kept, the staff brutally stuck up. You were lucky if they exhaled on you!
The mirrors in the changing room often covered in dust...you get the picture and you understand why they never met sales expectations and where shunned by Ralph at the first opportunity.

It was never an enjoyable experience and so they disappeared from the field.

What is surprising is that it took Ralph so long to get back in to the market, but I guess the previous deal left a very sour taste in his mouth!
 

likeitaloud

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Thanks for the background..kinda makes sense in a way. Still wondering why they refuse to ship to Canada though.
 

Mildly Consumptive

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Originally Posted by Zegnamtl
There is a small boutique at the Holt's in Montreal.


There's one in the Toronto Bloor St Holt's as well. It doesn't really offer much though.
 

Zegnamtl

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Originally Posted by likeitaloud
Thanks for the background..kinda makes sense in a way. Still wondering why they refuse to ship to Canada though.

Taxes, duty (even more so now that most items RL offer are imported, meaning double duty on a CDN sale , once to the US and then again on shipping to the CDN and drop shipping from China is out of the question), just make it too tough to manage any sort of decent return policy.

One thing you have to say about RL, is they have great customer service ( at least in all my dealings) and they would be really tough to manage and keep that high level of satisfaction dealing while with the shit heads at Revenue Canada.

Apple has managed a really good seamless setup for cross border shipments, but the dollar value per item is high and the return rate low, when compared to mail order clothes!
 

dl20

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ralph must hate canadians

dl
 

Recoil

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Originally Posted by Mildly Consumptive
There's one in the Toronto Bloor St Holt's as well. It doesn't really offer much though.

I was there a few weeks ago and it's getting better. Their Black Label offerings were up quite a bit, about 4 different suit styles with sizes. The prices have also come down quite a bit. Two seasons ago they were selling Purple Label dress shirts for $500. They are the same or a little bit more than the US prices now.
 

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