Ralph Lauren CFO says expects sales trends to improve throughout the year
Ralph Lauren CEO Patrice Louvet said on the company's Q1 earnings conference call that he is "committed" to objectively evaluating the business, understanding target consumer. Louvet said that "To say the retail industry is at an inflection point is an understatement." The executive noted that retail store closures are at a 20-year high as consumers shift to ecommerce. CFO Jane Nielsen said that Ralph Lauren sees gross margin expansion for the remainder of the year. Nielsen said the company is "on track" with expense savings targets for the year, will invest some savings into product, marketing. Nielsen said Ralph Lauren is "on track" to close 20%-25% of U.S. department store wholesale points of distribution by 2H18. Nielsen said the company plans to release a new polo shirt every month through November. Nielsen said the company is starting to see comps stabilize in Asia. Nielsen said brand and distribution exits account for half of revenue decline for FY18. She expects sales trends to improve throughout the year. Ralph Lauren is up 10.5% in premarket trading.