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Why the insane price increases of polo the last few years

modagg

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Less then 3 years ago there polo's were $60 full retail and could always be found around $40. They had to up to price a bit so they weren't viewed as lesser then those lacoste ones. Then the whole burberry chav thing occurred and they raised the prices on there other stuff to prevent the same from happening to them. Thats cool too, but when does it stop.

The purple label has always cost what it costs. I have 2 rlpl shirts and they are really nice but can someone explain to me why this shirt costs what it does. I remember 2 years ago at christmas buying several custom fit reagent shirts. I dunno if they were on sale but I'm pretty sure their retail price was $98. Those same shirts are now $150. A 50% increase in 2 years, that can't be blamed on inflation. While I would never wear one of those "big pony" polos, those things now cost $120.

Remember when polo, tommy hilfiger, even nautica where all around the same price range. Ralph Lauren clearly won that battle but how do the they justify a 20% + increase. If I walked into a macys and was given the choice between a tommy hifiger dress shirt thats prob on sale for $30-40 vs a $150 polo dress shirt; Why get the ralph lauren one?
 

Casey

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I don't know how quality is doing, but I think Ralph Lauren wants to change the image of the Polo brand. It is his biggest and most commercial brand, so maybe he wants to make it a little more exclusive.

Or the company just wants to make more money.
 

modagg

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Originally Posted by Casey
I don't know how quality is doing, but I think Ralph Lauren wants to change the image of the Polo brand. It is his biggest and most commercial brand, so maybe he wants to make it a little more exclusive.

Or the company just wants to make more money.


If chevy decided tomorrow that they wanted to be more like ferrari and to accomplish this they just doubled there prices without actually making any changes to there cars; no one would buy them. If people are dumb enough to pay extra, good for rl but i refuse to pay $180 for something that was $70 a few years ago. Its not like they change there stuff season to season either. Its exactly the same stuff.
 

zalb916

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You're also not really doing an apples to apples comparison. You said you purchased a Custom Fit Regent Shirt. Here's another Custom Fit Regent Shirt: http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/i...ductId=3007826 This one retails for only $125. That's about a 25% increase in two years. Considering normal inflation and the soaring price of goods in the past year, that seems about right for a price increase from two years ago. RL seems to make all different types of shirts with all kinds of names at all kinds of prices. They've let it be known that they are changing their image to go more upscale. The stores and web site are no longer called "Polo." They are called "Ralph Lauren." They are pushing their more upmarket collections and distancing themselves from the department store brands, like Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger. Who knows if the price increases are worth it? But if people are still buying it, then they'd be stupid not to.
 

lbcgav

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Originally Posted by modagg
Less then 3 years ago there polo's were $60 full retail and could always be found around $40. They had to up to price a bit so they weren't viewed as lesser then those lacoste ones. Then the whole burberry chav thing occurred and they raised the prices on there other stuff to prevent the same from happening to them. Thats cool too, but when does it stop.

The purple label has always cost what it costs. I have 2 rlpl shirts and they are really nice but can someone explain to me why this shirt costs what it does. I remember 2 years ago at christmas buying several custom fit reagent shirts. I dunno if they were on sale but I'm pretty sure their retail price was $98. Those same shirts are now $150. A 50% increase in 2 years, that can't be blamed on inflation. While I would never wear one of those "big pony" polos, those things now cost $120.

Remember when polo, tommy hilfiger, even nautica where all around the same price range. Ralph Lauren clearly won that battle but how do the they justify a 20% + increase. If I walked into a macys and was given the choice between a tommy hifiger dress shirt thats prob on sale for $30-40 vs a $150 polo dress shirt; Why get the ralph lauren one?


I'm not positive, but I think that custom fit shirt you linked to is made by Lorenzini. The less expensive Custom Fit Regents were made in China (plastic buttons). I recently found a nice custom fit that was made in Hong Kong. It retailed for more than the China made ones, but was made of a nicer fabric and had real MOP buttons. I don't think you're comparing apples to apples.
 

modagg

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It just seems to me that mens dress shirts are going thru the same situation that happened a few years ago with all those mall brand jeans and then after that polos. One brand ups the price to "stand out" so they others follow along. It seems every brand now has a $100+ slim fit dress shirt. If the shirt would have typically be sold for $70, they raise the price out of fear of being left behind.

I would almost say that the $100-150 dress shirt is like a $500-600 suit. Its no mans land, your either getting a deal or getting screwed.
 

sartort

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i went into my local RL store recently (Highland Park Village, Dallas) and the prices for F/W 2008 are insane!

Black Label is now almost at Purple Label levels.

F/W 07 Shirt $225
F/W 08 Shirt $275-295

Suits seem to have gone up over the past couple of years by $100. Sportcoats as well.

F/W 07 Suit $1695
F/W 08 Suit $1795 to $1995

Perhaps most shocking were some RL Black Label pants. I'm not sure if it's fabric dependent, but the ones I saw increased significantly

F/W 07 Wool Pants $325 to $395 (if my memory serves me correctly)
F/W 08 Wool Pants $450

Now I am an ardent Black Label fan. Black Label to me is as Jil to socal. But nevertheless the prices seem a little out of whack even counting the weak dollar.
 

ppllzz

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all those things get marked down like crazy at the outlets though...
 

jsherman02

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Originally Posted by Biggskip


Nice.

I think their POLO's are crap....worse than Lacoste who has pretty inferior materials as well.
 

Nahmeanz

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Originally Posted by sartort
i went into my local RL store recently (Highland Park Village, Dallas) and the prices for F/W 2008 are insane! Black Label is now almost at Purple Label levels. F/W 07 Shirt $225 F/W 08 Shirt $275-295 Suits seem to have gone up over the past couple of years by $100. Sportcoats as well. F/W 07 Suit $1695 F/W 08 Suit $1795 to $1995 Perhaps most shocking were some RL Black Label pants. I'm not sure if it's fabric dependent, but the ones I saw increased significantly F/W 07 Wool Pants $325 to $395 (if my memory serves me correctly) F/W 08 Wool Pants $450 Now I am an ardent Black Label fan. Black Label to me is as Jil to socal. But nevertheless the prices seem a little out of whack even counting the weak dollar.
BL and PL is made in italy so this is the effect of the weak dollar. F/W 07 suits were 1695, S/S 08 suits went up to 1795, and now we see F/W 08 suits at 1995. It's crazy!
 

heavyd

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pretty much 100% of my wardrobe is polo of some sort and I agree. but the 2x a year sales aggressively mark the stuff off and that's when i buy. all my PL and Black Label dress shirts at 50% off and i'll agree, even then, it's too much.

right now for example they have a sale + 25% off on basis and you can get the polo's cheaper.

it's all italian and the euro / dollar is killing us.
 

sartort

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Originally Posted by Nahmeanz
BL and PL is made in italy so this is the effect of the weak dollar. F/W 07 suits were 1695, S/S 08 suits went up to 1795, and now we see F/W 08 suits at 1995. It's crazy!
I did a little research and I now realize that even though suits went up $100 (minumum) which seems like a lot, it's actually less than the percentage of strength loss of the dollar in comparison to the euro. RLBL suit in basic fabric: F/W 2007 - $1695 F/W 2008 - $1795 % change = 1.058997% Euro-Dollar: July 2007 - 1 USD = .728 Euro July 2008 - 1 USD = .634 Euro % change = 1.14% I know the timing of the orders placed were not in July of either 2007 or 2008, but I am using the 1 year differential as an example. Source: So in fact the suits prices, despite the increases have not kept up across the board with the fall of the dollar. Thanks Ralph.
 

Dan G

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Agreed. This is a function of currencies, not raw materials. Raw materials are the burden of the supplier and likely account for less than 10% of the retail cost.
 

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