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 Polo: Chaps, American Living help cover for home

New York - A decline in home royalties proved a drag on Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation’s licensing revenues during the first quarter, the company reported today.

Polo’s licensing revenues for the quarter ended June 28 rose 1% to $47 million. Revenue from the expanding American Living program at JCPenney, Chaps’ royalties from Kohl’s and growth in domestic royalties from men’s underwear helped offset the decline in Polo home licensing royalties, according to the company.

The Chaps program at Kohl’s – men’s, women’s, kids’ and home – is “outstanding,” Polo president and ceo Roger Farah told analysts during this morning’s quarterly conference call. Sales “continue to run well ahead of plan. In our third year with Chaps we really understand that customer, and we’re getting the kind of sell-throughs that everybody feels good about even in a tough environment.”

American Living, which launched as a JCPenney captive brand in Feburary in apparel and home, has had some strong business categories and some “we’re still learning from,” Farah said, without specifying. “We’re now next week showing spring [2009] merchandise to Penneys, and I think that will incorporate our learnings.”

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