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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
     For the fiscal year ended March 27, 2021
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission File Number: 001-13057
RALPH LAUREN CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware13-2622036
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
650 Madison Avenue,New York,New York10022
(Address of principal executive offices)(Zip Code)
(212318-7000
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of Each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of Each Exchange on which Registered
Class A Common Stock, $.01 par valueRLNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.     Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.                                     Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).                                                  Yes No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.                 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.                 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).          Yes No
The aggregate market value of the registrant's voting common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $3.385 billion as of September 25, 2020, the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter based on the closing price of the common stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
At May 14, 2021, 48,250,036 shares of the registrant's Class A common stock, $.01 par value and 24,881,276 shares of the registrant's Class B common stock, $.01 par value were outstanding.
Part III incorporates by reference information from certain portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the fiscal year ended March 27, 2021.



SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Various statements in this Form 10-K or incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K, in future filings by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), in our press releases, and in oral statements made from time to time by us or on our behalf constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding our future operating results and sources of liquidity (especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic), the implementation and impact of our strategic plans, initiatives and capital expenses, and our ability to meet environmental, social, and governance goals. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are indicated by words or phrases such as "anticipate," "outlook," "estimate," "expect," "project," "believe," "envision," "goal," "target," "can," "will," and similar words or phrases and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from the future results, performance, or achievements expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, and other factors include, among others:
the loss of key personnel, including Mr. Ralph Lauren, or other changes in our executive and senior management team or to our operating structure, including those resulting from our decision to significantly reduce our global workforce during Fiscal 2021, and our ability to effectively transfer knowledge and maintain adequate controls and procedures during periods of transition;
the impact to our business resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including periods of reduced operating hours and capacity limits and/or temporary closure of our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities, as well as those of our wholesale customers, licensing partners, suppliers, and vendors, and potential changes to consumer behavior, spending levels, and/or shopping preferences, such as willingness to congregate in shopping centers or other populated locations;
our ability to achieve anticipated operating enhancements and cost reductions from our restructuring plans, as well as the impact to our business resulting from restructuring-related charges, which may be dilutive to our earnings in the short term;
the impact to our business resulting from potential costs and obligations related to the early or temporary closure of our stores or termination of our long-term, non-cancellable leases;
our ability to maintain adequate levels of liquidity to provide for our cash needs, including our debt obligations, tax obligations, capital expenditures, and potential payment of dividends and repurchases of our Class A common stock, as well as the ability of our customers, suppliers, vendors, and lenders to access sources of liquidity to provide for their own cash needs;
the impact to our business resulting from changes in consumers' ability, willingness, or preferences to purchase discretionary items and luxury retail products, which tends to decline during recessionary periods, and our ability to accurately forecast consumer demand, the failure of which could result in either a build-up or shortage of inventory;
the impact of economic, political, and other conditions on us, our customers, suppliers, vendors, and lenders, including business disruptions related to pandemic diseases such as COVID-19, civil and political unrest such as the recent protests in the U.S., and diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China;
the potential impact to our business resulting from the financial difficulties of certain of our large wholesale customers, which may result in consolidations, liquidations, restructurings, and other ownership changes in the retail industry, as well as other changes in the competitive marketplace, including the introduction of new products or pricing changes by our competitors;
our ability to successfully implement our long-term growth strategy;
our ability to continue to expand and grow our business internationally and the impact of related changes in our customer, channel, and geographic sales mix as a result, as well as our ability to accelerate growth in certain product categories;
our ability to open new retail stores and concession shops, as well as enhance and expand our digital footprint and capabilities, all in an effort to expand our direct-to-consumer presence;
our ability to respond to constantly changing fashion and retail trends and consumer demands in a timely manner, develop products that resonate with our existing customers and attract new customers, and execute marketing and advertising programs that appeal to consumers;
1


our ability to effectively manage inventory levels and the increasing pressure on our margins in a highly promotional retail environment;
our ability to continue to maintain our brand image and reputation and protect our trademarks;
our ability to competitively price our products and create an acceptable value proposition for consumers;
our ability to access capital markets and maintain compliance with covenants associated with our existing debt instruments;
a variety of legal, regulatory, tax, political, and economic risks, including risks related to the importation and exportation of products which our operations are currently subject to, or may become subject to as a result of potential changes in legislation, and other risks associated with our international operations, such as compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or violations of other anti-bribery and corruption laws prohibiting improper payments, and the burdens of complying with a variety of foreign laws and regulations, including tax laws, trade and labor restrictions, and related laws that may reduce the flexibility of our business;
the potential impact to our business resulting from the imposition of additional duties, tariffs, taxes, and other charges or barriers to trade, including those resulting from trade developments between the U.S. and China, as well as the trade agreement reached in December 2020 between the United Kingdom and the European Union, and any related impact to global stock markets, as well as our ability to implement mitigating sourcing strategies;
the impact to our business resulting from increases in the costs of raw materials, transportation, and labor, including wages, healthcare, and other benefit-related costs;
our ability and the ability of our third-party service providers to secure our respective facilities and systems from, among other things, cybersecurity breaches, acts of vandalism, computer viruses, ransomware, or similar Internet or email events;
our efforts to successfully enhance, upgrade, and/or transition our global information technology systems and digital commerce platforms;
the potential impact to our business if any of our distribution centers were to become inoperable or inaccessible;
the potential impact on our operations and on our suppliers and customers resulting from man-made or natural disasters, including pandemic diseases such as COVID-19, severe weather, geological events, and other catastrophic events;
changes in our tax obligations and effective tax rate due to a variety of factors, including potential changes in U.S. or foreign tax laws and regulations, accounting rules, or the mix and level of earnings by jurisdiction in future periods that are not currently known or anticipated;
our exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations from both a transactional and translational perspective;
the impact to our business of events of unrest and instability that are currently taking place in certain parts of the world, as well as from any terrorist action, retaliation, and the threat of further action or retaliation;
the potential impact to the trading prices of our securities if our Class A common stock share repurchase activity and/or cash dividend payments differ from investors' expectations;
our ability to maintain our credit profile and ratings within the financial community;
our intention to introduce new products or brands, or enter into or renew alliances;
changes in the business of, and our relationships with, major wholesale customers and licensing partners;
our ability to achieve our goals regarding environmental, social, and governance practices, including those related to our human capital; and
our ability to make strategic acquisitions and successfully integrate the acquired businesses into our existing operations.
These forward-looking statements are based largely on our expectations and judgments and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are unforeseeable and beyond our control. A detailed discussion of significant risk factors that have the potential to cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations is described in Part I of this Form 10-K under the heading of "Risk Factors." We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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WEBSITE ACCESS TO COMPANY REPORTS AND OTHER INFORMATION
Our investor website is http://investor.ralphlauren.com. We were incorporated in June 1997 under the laws of the State of Delaware. Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed with or furnished to the SEC pursuant to Section 13(a) or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, are available free of charge at our investor website under the caption "SEC Filings" promptly after we electronically file such materials with or furnish such materials to the SEC. All such filings are also available on the SEC's website at https://www.sec.gov. Information relating to corporate governance at Ralph Lauren Corporation, including our Corporate Governance Policies, our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics for all directors, officers, and employees, our Code of Ethics for Principal Executive Officers and Senior Financial Officers, and information concerning our directors, Committees of the Board of Directors, including Committee charters, and transactions involving Ralph Lauren Corporation securities by directors and executive officers, are available at our website under the captions "Corporate Governance" and "SEC Filings." Paper copies of these filings and corporate governance documents are available to stockholders without charge by written request to Investor Relations, Ralph Lauren Corporation, 650 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022.
In this Form 10-K, references to "Ralph Lauren," "ourselves," "we," "our," "us," and the "Company" refer to Ralph Lauren Corporation and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise. Due to the collaborative and ongoing nature of our relationships with our licensees, such licensees are sometimes referred to in this Form 10-K as "licensing alliances." Our fiscal year ends on the Saturday immediately before or after March 31. All references to "Fiscal 2022" represent the 53-week fiscal year ending April 2, 2022. All references to "Fiscal 2021" represent the 52-week fiscal year ended March 27, 2021. All references to "Fiscal 2020" represent the 52-week fiscal year ended March 28, 2020. All references to "Fiscal 2019" represent the 52-week fiscal year ended March 30, 2019.
PART I
Item 1.    Business.
General
Founded in 1967 by Mr. Ralph Lauren, we are a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, fragrances and hospitality. Our long-standing reputation and distinctive image have been developed across an expanding number of products, brands, sales channels, and international markets. We believe that our global reach, breadth of product offerings, and multi-channel distribution are unique among luxury and apparel companies.
We diversify our business by geography (North America, Europe, and Asia, among other regions) and channel of distribution (retail, wholesale, and licensing). This allows us to maintain a dynamic balance as our operating results do not depend solely on the performance of any single geographic area or channel of distribution. We sell directly to consumers through our integrated retail channel, which includes our retail stores, concession-based shop-within-shops, and digital commerce operations around the world. Our wholesale sales are made principally to major department stores, specialty stores, and third-party digital partners around the world, as well as to certain third-party-owned stores to which we have licensed the right to operate in defined geographic territories using our trademarks. In addition, we license to third parties for specified periods the right to access our various trademarks in connection with the licensees' manufacture and sale of designated products, such as certain apparel, eyewear, fragrances, and home furnishings.
We organize our business into the following three reportable segments: North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to these reportable segments, we also have other non-reportable segments. See "Our Segments" for further discussion of our segment reporting structure.
Our global reach is extensive, as we sell directly to customers throughout the world via our 548 retail stores and 650 concession-based shop-within-shops, as well as through our own digital commerce sites and those of various third-party digital partners. Merchandise is also available through our wholesale distribution channels at approximately 9,000 doors worldwide, the majority in specialty stores, as well as through the digital commerce sites of many of our wholesale customers. In addition to our directly-operated stores and shops, our international licensing partners operate 139 Ralph Lauren stores and shops, and 143 Club Monaco stores and shops. As discussed in "Recent Developments," on May 13, 2021, we announced the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
We have been controlled by the Lauren family since the founding of our Company. As of March 27, 2021, Mr. R. Lauren, or entities controlled by the Lauren family, held approximately 84% of the voting power of the Company's outstanding common stock.
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Objectives and Opportunities
We believe that our size and the global scope of our operations provide us with design, sourcing, and distribution synergies across our different businesses. Our core strengths include a portfolio of global premium lifestyle brands, a well-diversified global multi-channel distribution network, an investment philosophy supported by a strong balance sheet, and an experienced management team. Despite the various risks and uncertainties associated with the current global economic environment, as discussed further in Item 7 — "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Global Economic Conditions and Industry Trends," we believe our core strengths will allow us to execute our long-term growth strategy.
An overview of our long-term growth strategy is presented below:
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Global Citizenship and Sustainability
Global citizenship and sustainability at Ralph Lauren Corporation is rooted in the heritage of our brand and our purpose to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. We believe that delivering the next 50 years for Ralph Lauren means rethinking our impact on the environment and society and utilizing creativity, the power of design, and innovative technologies to drive meaningful change. We call our citizenship and sustainability plan "Design the Change," and through this strategy, we’re creating a more sustainable future in three key areas:
1.Create Timeless Style
Responsible Design — We commit to embedding sustainability, inclusivity, intention, and celebration into the products and services we design.
Circularity — We are committed to a comprehensive circular strategy, whereby we will inform our product development and support more circular systems in our industry by designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
Sustainable Materials — We commit to using more materials in a way that results in positive social and environmental outcomes, protects biodiversity, advances animal welfare, and continuously improves traceability of our raw materials.
Sustainable Spaces — We are committed to designing and building Ralph Lauren stores with materials that minimize environmental impact and maximize occupant health.
Chemical Management — We commit to monitor and reduce hazardous chemical use and discharge and we are working to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from our product manufacturing.
2.Protect the Environment
Carbon and Energy — We are committed to playing our part to address the climate crisis by reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain and investing in credible emission removals.
Water Stewardship — We commit to reducing water consumption across our value chain and to safeguarding and preserving water resources in our communities.
Waste Management — We commit to integrating zero-waste principles across our business, focusing on reducing waste at its source and diverting waste from landfill through increased recycling and upcycling.
Sustainable Packaging — We commit to our packaging material being recyclable, reusable, or sustainably sourced.
3.Champion Better Lives
Diversity and Inclusion — We unite and inspire the communities within our Company, as well as those we serve, by amplifying voices and perspectives to create a culture of belonging, equality, inclusion, and fairness for all.
Community Engagement and Philanthropy — We commit to making a meaningful difference in our communities through our global employee volunteerism and our dedication to social and environmental causes.
Worker Empowerment and Well-being — We are committed to conducting our global operations ethically and with respect for the dignity of all people who make our products. We aim to enrich the quality of work and life for everyone in our supply chain, ensuring they all have the opportunity to reach their full potential in a safe and inclusive environment.
Additional information relating to Design the Change can be found in our annual sustainability reports, which is available at our website at http://investor.ralphlauren.com under the caption "Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report." Our 2021 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report is expected to be published in June 2021. The content of our sustainability reports is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC.
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Recent Developments
COVID-19 Pandemic
Beginning in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020, a novel strain of coronavirus commonly referred to as COVID-19 emerged and spread rapidly across the globe, including throughout all major geographies in which we operate (North America, Europe, and Asia), resulting in adverse economic conditions and business disruptions, as well as significant volatility in global financial markets. Governments worldwide have imposed varying degrees of preventative and protective actions, such as temporary travel bans, forced business closures, and stay-at-home orders, all in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Such factors, among others, have resulted in a significant decline in retail traffic, tourism, and consumer spending on discretionary items. Additionally, during this period of uncertainty, companies across a wide array of industries have implemented various initiatives to reduce operating expenses and preserve cash balances, including work furloughs, reduced pay, and severance actions, which could lower consumers' disposable income levels or willingness to purchase discretionary items. Further, even after such government restrictions and company initiatives are lifted, consumer behavior, spending levels, and/or shopping preferences, such as willingness to congregate in indoor shopping centers or other populated locations, could be adversely affected.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced varying degrees of business disruptions and periods of closure of our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities, as have our wholesale customers, licensing partners, suppliers, and vendors. During the first quarter of Fiscal 2021, the majority of our stores in key markets were closed for an average of 8 to 10 weeks due to government-mandated lockdowns and other restrictions, resulting in significant adverse impacts to our operating results. Resurgences in certain parts of the world resulted in further business disruptions periodically throughout Fiscal 2021, most notably in Europe where a significant number of our stores were closed for approximately two to three months during the second half of Fiscal 2021, including during the holiday period, due to government-mandated lockdowns and other restrictions. Such disruptions have continued into the first quarter of Fiscal 2022, impacting not only our businesses in Europe but also in other regions of the world (notably our retail operations in Japan and our sourcing operations in India). Further, the majority of our stores that are able to remain open have periodically been subject to limited operating hours and/or customer capacity levels in accordance with local health guidelines, with traffic remaining challenged. Our wholesale and licensing businesses have also been adversely affected, particularly in North America and Europe, as a result of store closures and lower traffic and consumer demand.
Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, and the communities in which we operate around the world. We continue to consider the guidance of local governments and global health organizations and have implemented new health and safety protocols in our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities. We have also taken various preemptive actions to preserve cash and strengthen our liquidity position, including:
amending our Global Credit Facility in May 2020 to temporarily waive our leverage ratio requirement (see Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
issuing $1.250 billion of unsecured senior notes in June 2020, the proceeds of which are being used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of certain of our previously outstanding borrowings (see Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
temporarily suspending our quarterly cash dividend and common stock repurchase program, effective beginning in the first quarter of Fiscal 2021 (see Note 16 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
temporarily reducing the base compensation of our executives and senior management team, as well as our Board of Directors, for the first quarter of Fiscal 2021;
furloughing or reducing work hours for a significant portion of our employees during the first half of Fiscal 2021;
carefully managing our expense structure across all key areas of spend, including aligning inventory levels with anticipated demand, negotiating rent abatements with certain of our landlords, and postponing non-critical capital build-out and other investments and activities;
pursuing relevant government subsidy programs related to COVID-19 business disruptions; and
improving upon our cash conversion cycle largely driven by our accounts receivable collection efforts and extended vendor payment terms.
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Despite the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic remains highly volatile and continues to evolve. Accordingly, we cannot predict for how long and to what extent the pandemic will impact our business operations or the global economy as a whole. We will continue to assess our operations location-by-location, considering the guidance of local governments and global health organizations to determine when our operations can begin returning to normal levels of business. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to Macroeconomic Conditions Infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on our business" for additional discussion regarding risks to our business associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fiscal 2021 Strategic Realignment Plan
We have begun efforts to realign our resources to support future growth and profitability, and to create a sustainable cost structure. The key areas of our evaluation include our: (i) team organizational structures and ways of working; (ii) real estate footprint and related costs across corporate offices, distribution centers, and direct-to-consumer retail and wholesale doors; and (iii) brand portfolio.
In connection with the first initiative, on September 17, 2020, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan (the "Fiscal 2021 Strategic Realignment Plan") to reduce our global workforce by the end of Fiscal 2021. Additionally, during our preliminary review of our store portfolio during the second quarter of Fiscal 2021, we made the decision to close our Polo store on Regent Street in London.
On October 29, 2020, we announced the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model, consistent with our long-term brand elevation strategy in connection with our third initiative (see "Transition of Chaps Brand to a Licensing Model" further below for additional discussion).
Additionally, on February 3, 2021, our Board of Directors approved additional realignment actions related to our real estate initiative. Specifically, we plan to further rightsize and consolidate our global corporate offices to better align with our current organizational profile and new ways of working. We also expect to close certain of our stores to improve overall profitability. Additionally, we plan to complete the consolidation of our existing North America distribution centers in order to drive greater efficiencies, improve sustainability, and deliver a better consumer experience.
Finally, on May 13, 2021, in connection with our brand portfolio initiative, we announced that we have entered into an agreement to sell our Club Monaco business to Regent, L.P., a global private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
In connection with these collective realignment initiatives, we expect to incur total estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $300 million to $350 million, of which $236.8 million was recorded during Fiscal 2021. Once substantially completed by the end of Fiscal 2022, these actions are expected to result in gross annualized pre-tax expense savings of approximately $200 million to $240 million, a portion of which will be reinvested back into the business. These estimated charges and expense savings are subject to change based upon the completion of the sale of our Club Monaco business.
See Note 9 to our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding charges recorded in connection with the Fiscal 2021 Strategic Restructuring Plan.
Transition of Chaps Brand to a Fully Licensed Business Model
On October 29, 2020, we announced the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model, consistent with our long-term brand elevation strategy. Specifically, we have entered into a multi-year licensing partnership, taking effect on August 1, 2021 after a transition period, with an affiliate of 5 Star Apparel LLC, a division of the OVED Group, to manufacture, market, and distribute Chaps menswear and womenswear. The products will be sold at existing channels of distribution with opportunities for expansion into additional channels and markets globally.
This agreement is expected to create incremental value for the Company by enabling an even greater focus on elevating our core brands in the marketplace, reducing our direct exposure to the North America department store channel, and setting up Chaps to deliver on its potential with an experienced partner that is focused on nurturing the brand.
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Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan
On June 4, 2018, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan associated with our strategic objective of operating with discipline to drive sustainable growth (the "Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan"). The Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan included the following activities: (i) rightsizing and consolidation of our global distribution network and corporate offices; (ii) targeted severance-related actions; and (iii) closure of certain of our stores and shop-within-shops. Actions associated with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan resulted in gross annualized expense savings of approximately $80 million.
In connection with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan, we have recorded cumulative charges of $145.8 million since its inception, of which $48.5 million and $97.3 million were recorded during Fiscal 2020 and Fiscal 2019, respectively. Actions associated with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan are complete and no additional charges are expected to be incurred in connection with this plan.
See Note 9 to our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding charges recorded in connection with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan.
Our Brands and Products
Our products, which include apparel, footwear, accessories, and fragrance collections for men and women, as well as childrenswear and home furnishings, together with our hospitality portfolio, comprise one of the most widely recognized families of consumer brands. Reflecting a distinctive American perspective, we have been an innovator in aspirational lifestyle branding and believe that, under the direction of internationally renowned designer Mr. Ralph Lauren, we have had a considerable influence on the way people dress and the way that fashion is advertised throughout the world.
We combine consumer insight with our design, marketing, and imaging skills to offer, along with our licensing alliances, broad lifestyle product collections with a unified vision:
Apparel — Our apparel products include extensive collections of men's, women's, and children's clothing, which are sold under various brand names, including Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Golf Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Golf, RLX Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, Chaps, and Club Monaco, among others.
Footwear and Accessories — Our range of footwear and accessories encompasses men's, women's, and children's, including casual shoes, dress shoes, boots, sneakers, sandals, eyewear, watches, fashion and fine jewelry, scarves, hats, gloves, umbrellas, and leather goods, including handbags, luggage, small leather goods, and belts, which are sold under our Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Double RL, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, Chaps, and Club Monaco brands.
Fragrance — Our fragrance offerings capture the essence of Ralph Lauren's men's and women's brands with numerous labels, designed to appeal to a variety of audiences. Women's fragrance products are sold under our Ralph Lauren Collection, Woman by Ralph Lauren, Romance Collection, Ralph Collection, and Big Pony Women's brands. Men's fragrance products are sold under our Polo Blue, Safari, Purple Label, Polo Red, Polo Green, Polo Black, Polo Supreme, Polo Sport, and Big Pony Men's brands.
Home — Our home collections, which are sold under our Ralph Lauren, Polo, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and Chaps brands, reflect the spirit of the Ralph Lauren lifestyle. Our range of home products includes bed and bath lines, furniture, fabric and wallcoverings, lighting, tabletop, floor coverings, and giftware.
Hospitality — Continuing to engage our consumers with experiential and unique expressions of the brand, our hospitality portfolio is a natural extension of the World of Ralph Lauren as expressed through the culinary arts. Ralph Lauren's global hospitality collection is comprised of our restaurants including The Polo Bar in New York City, RL Restaurant located in Chicago, Ralph's located in Paris, and our Ralph's Coffee concept in various cities around the world.
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Our lifestyle brand image is reinforced by our distribution through our stores and concession-based shop-within-shops, our wholesale channels of distribution, our global digital commerce sites, and our Ralph Lauren restaurants. We sell our products under the following key brand platforms:
1.Ralph Lauren Luxury — Our Luxury group includes:
Ralph Lauren Collection and Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Ralph Lauren Collection embodies the highest expression of chic, feminine glamour. Each piece is inspired by a vision of timeless luxury and modern elegance, and is crafted with unparalleled passion and artistry. For men, Ralph Lauren Purple Label is the ultimate expression of luxury for the modern gentleman. Refined suitings are hand-tailored, including custom made-to-measure suits crafted in the time-honored traditions of Savile Row. Purple Label's sophisticated sportswear is designed with a meticulous attention to detail, capturing the elegance and ease of Ralph Lauren's signature, timeless style. Ralph Lauren Collection and Ralph Lauren Purple Label are available in Ralph Lauren stores around the world, an exclusive selection of the finest specialty stores, and online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com.
Double RL. Founded in 1993 and named after Ralph Lauren's working cattle ranch in Colorado, Double RL is a tribute to America's pioneering spirit and tradition of rugged independence. The foundation of Double RL lies in timeless wardrobe staples for men and women, including authentic American made selvedge denim, military-grade chinos, tube-knit t-shirts, thermals, and flannels. Beyond these iconic styles are added seasonal vintage-inspired collections, along with a full collection of footwear and accessories, including quality belts, bags, and leather goods. Double RL is available at Double RL stores, at select Ralph Lauren stores, and an exclusive selection of the finest specialty stores around the world, as well as online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com.
Ralph Lauren Home. Ralph Lauren Home represents a full expression of modern luxury — style is a life well-lived. Based on an immersive design ethos, the collection includes furniture, lighting, bed and bath linens, tabletop, decorative accessories and gifts, as well as fabric, wallcoverings, and floorcoverings. Each piece is crafted with the greatest attention to detail. Ralph Lauren Home offers exclusive luxury goods at select Ralph Lauren stores, home specialty stores, trade showrooms, and online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com. The complete world of Ralph Lauren Home can be explored online at RalphLaurenHome.com.
Ralph Lauren Watches and Fine Jewelry. We offer a premier collection of timepieces, which embody Ralph Lauren's passion for impeccable quality and exquisite design. We also offer premium collections of fine jewelry, which capture the glamour and craftsmanship of Ralph Lauren's most luxurious designs. Ralph Lauren watches and fine jewelry are available at select Ralph Lauren stores and flagship locations around the world. A selection of watches is also available online at RalphLauren.com and the finest watch retailers.
2.Polo Ralph Lauren — The Polo Ralph Lauren group includes:
Polo Ralph Lauren. Men's Polo combines Ivy League classics and time-honored English haberdashery with downtown styles and all-American sporting looks in sportswear and tailored clothing. Women's Polo represents the epitome of classic and iconic American style with a modern and cool twist. Polo's signature aesthetic includes our renowned polo player logo. Polo Sport reflects the active lifestyle and youthful energy of Polo’s sporting roots through Men’s and Women’s activewear. Men's and Women's Polo apparel, footwear, and accessories are available in Polo and Ralph Lauren stores around the world, better department and specialty stores, and online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com.
Polo Ralph Lauren Children. Polo Ralph Lauren Children is designed to reflect the timeless heritage and modern spirit of Ralph Lauren's collections for men and women. Signature classics include iconic polo knit shirts and luxurious cashmere cable-knit sweaters. Polo Ralph Lauren Children is available in a full range of sizes, from baby to girls 2-16 and boys 2-20. Polo Ralph Lauren Children can be found in select Polo and Ralph Lauren stores around the world, better department stores, and online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com, as well as certain of our retailer partner digital commerce sites.
RLX Ralph Lauren. RLX is the leading edge of Ralph Lauren’s performance and activewear. Comprised of functional apparel that address the performance needs of a modern active lifestyle, RLX includes men's and women's apparel and accessories that represent Ralph Lauren's belief that things that are purposefully designed and made of the highest quality achieve a timeless elegance.
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Polo Golf Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Golf, and RLX Ralph Lauren Golf. Tested and worn by top-ranked professional golfers, Polo Golf Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Golf, and RLX Ralph Lauren for men and women define excellence in the world of golf. With a sharpened focus on the needs of the modern player but rooted in the rich design tradition of Ralph Lauren, the Golf collections combine state-of-the-art performance wear with luxurious finishing touches. Our Golf collections are available in select Polo stores, exclusive private clubs and resorts, and online at RalphLauren.com.
Pink Pony. Established in 2000, the Pink Pony campaign is our worldwide initiative in the fight against cancer. In the U.S., a percentage of sales from Pink Pony products benefit the Pink Pony Fund of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation (formerly known as the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation), which supports programs for early diagnosis, education, treatment, and research, and is dedicated to bringing patient navigation and quality cancer care to medically underserved communities. Internationally, a network of local cancer charities around the world benefit from the sale of Pink Pony products. Pink Pony consists of dual gender sportswear and accessories. Pink Pony items feature our iconic pink polo player – a symbol of our commitment to the fight against cancer. Pink Pony is available at select Polo and Ralph Lauren stores and online at our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com. Pink Pony is also available at select Macy's stores and online at Macys.com.
3.Lauren Ralph Lauren — Our Lauren group includes:
Lauren Ralph Lauren. Lauren for women combines aspirational timeless style with modern femininity in a lifestyle collection of sportswear, denim, and dresses, as well as footwear and accessories. Lauren for women is available in select department stores around the world and online at select digital commerce sites, including RalphLauren.com. Lauren for men offers a complete collection of men's tailored clothing, including suits, sport coats, dress shirts, dress pants, tuxedos, topcoats, and ties at a more accessible price point. Lauren for men is available at select department stores in North America and Europe.
Lauren Home. Launched in 2017, the Lauren Home collection includes accessibly-priced, timeless bath and bedding designs, updated with a fresh, modern spirit. The collection is built upon an assortment of essentials that is designed to be periodically augmented with trend-relevant colors and patterns.
4.Chaps Launched in 1978, Chaps celebrates real American style, delivering classic collections updated for modern lifestyles for men, women, children and home. The modern lifestyle collection offers versatile sportswear, workday essentials, tailored clothing, and occasion dresses that are wearable from season to season. Chaps is available in select department stores and retail partner digital commerce sites across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and China. Refer to "Recent Developments" for discussion regarding the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model.
5.Club Monaco — Founded in 1985, Club Monaco is a modern, urban-minded brand with an element of ease and a spark of entrepreneurship. The brand prides itself on creating elevated essentials recognized for their style, design, fit, and functionality with a relaxed, of-the-moment sensibility. Club Monaco apparel, footwear, and accessories are available at Club Monaco stores and select department stores in North America and around the world, as well as online at ClubMonaco.com and ClubMonaco.ca. Refer to "Recent Developments" for discussion regarding the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
Our Segments
We organize our business into the following three reportable segments:
North America — Our North America segment, representing approximately 45% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, and related products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in the U.S. and Canada, excluding Club Monaco. In North America, our retail business is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, and our digital commerce site, www.RalphLauren.com. Our wholesale business in North America is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, and to a lesser extent, specialty stores.
Europe — Our Europe segment, representing approximately 27% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, and related products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, excluding Club Monaco. In Europe, our retail business is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, our concession-based shop-within-shops, and our various digital commerce sites. Our wholesale
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business in Europe is comprised of a varying mix of sales to both department stores and specialty stores, depending on the country, as well as to various third-party digital partners.
Asia — Our Asia segment, representing approximately 23% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, and related products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Our retail business in Asia is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, our concession-based shop-within-shops, and our various digital commerce sites. In addition, we sell our products online through various third-party digital partner commerce sites. In Asia, our wholesale business is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, with related products distributed through shop-within-shops.
No operating segments were aggregated to form our reportable segments. In addition to these reportable segments, we also have other non-reportable segments, representing approximately 5% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, which primarily consist of (i) sales of Club Monaco branded products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and our licensing alliances in Europe and Asia, and (ii) royalty revenues earned through our global licensing alliances, excluding Club Monaco. As discussed in "Recent Developments," on May 13, 2021, we announced the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
This segment structure is consistent with how we establish our overall business strategy, allocate resources, and assess performance of our Company.
Approximately 52% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues were earned outside of the U.S. See Note 20 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for a summary of net revenues and operating income by segment, as well as net revenues and long-lived assets by geographic location.
Our Retail Business
Our retail business sells directly to customers throughout the world via our 548 retail stores and 650 concession-based shop-within-shops, totaling approximately 4.2 million and 0.7 million square feet, respectively, as well as through our own digital commerce sites and those of various third-party digital partners. We operate our business using a global omni-channel retailing strategy that seeks to deliver an integrated shopping experience with a consistent message of our brands and products to our customers, regardless of whether they are shopping for our products in physical stores or online. We also continue to introduce new Connected Retail capabilities, such as virtual clienteling, Buy Online-Ship to Store, Buy Online-Pick Up in Store, curbside pickup, appointment scheduling, and mobile checkout, to further enhance our customers' shopping experience.
Ralph Lauren Stores
Our Ralph Lauren stores feature a broad range of apparel, footwear, accessories, watch and jewelry, fragrance, and home product assortments in an atmosphere reflecting the distinctive attitude and image of the Ralph Lauren, Polo, and Double RL brands, including exclusive merchandise that is not sold in department stores. During Fiscal 2021, we opened 24 new Ralph Lauren stores and closed 11 stores. Our Ralph Lauren stores are primarily situated in major upscale street locations and upscale regional malls, generally in large urban markets.
The following table presents the number of Ralph Lauren stores by segment as of March 27, 2021:
Ralph Lauren Stores
North America40 
Europe32 
Asia79 
Total151 
Our eight flagship Ralph Lauren regional store locations showcase our iconic styles and products and demonstrate our most refined merchandising techniques. In addition to generating sales of our products, our worldwide Ralph Lauren stores establish, reinforce, and capitalize on the image of our brands. Our Ralph Lauren stores range in size from approximately 500 to 37,900 square feet.
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Factory Stores
We extend our reach to additional consumer groups through our 325 factory stores worldwide, which are principally located in major outlet centers. Our worldwide factory stores offer selections of our apparel, footwear, accessories, and fragrances. In addition to these product offerings, certain of our factory stores in North America and Europe offer home furnishings. During Fiscal 2021, we opened 16 new factory stores and closed nine factory stores.
The following table presents the number of factory stores by segment as of March 27, 2021:
Factory Stores
North America193 
Europe60 
Asia72 
Total325 
Our factory stores range in size from approximately 1,100 to 28,300 square feet. Factory stores obtain products from our suppliers, our product licensing partners, and our other retail stores and digital commerce operations, and also serve as a secondary distribution channel for our excess and out-of-season products.
Concession-based Shop-within-Shops
The terms of trade for shop-within-shops are largely conducted on a concession basis, whereby inventory continues to be owned by us (not the department store) until ultimate sale to the end consumer. The salespeople involved in the sales transactions are generally our employees and not those of the department store.
The following table presents the number of concession-based shop-within-shops by segment as of March 27, 2021:
Concession-based
Shop-within-Shops
North America
Europe29 
Asia616 
Other non-reportable segments
Total(a)
650 
(a)     Our concession-based shop-within-shops were located at approximately 300 retail locations.
The size of our concession-based shop-within-shops ranges from approximately 100 to 3,500 square feet. We may share in the cost of building out certain of these shop-within-shops with our department store partners.
Club Monaco Stores
Our Club Monaco stores feature fashion apparel, footwear, and accessories for both men and women with clean and contemporary signature styles. During Fiscal 2021, we opened three new Club Monaco store and closed five stores. Our Club Monaco stores range in size from approximately 1,200 to 17,200 square feet.
The following table presents the number of Club Monaco stores by geographic location as of March 27, 2021:
Club Monaco Stores
North America67 
Europe
Total(a)
72 
(a)     Our Club Monaco business has been aggregated with other non-reportable segments.
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As discussed in "Recent Developments," on May 13, 2021, we announced the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
Directly-Operated Digital Commerce Websites
In addition to our stores, our retail business sells products online in North America, Europe, and Asia through our various directly-operated digital commerce sites, which include www.RalphLauren.com, among others. Most recently, we added two new sites in Asia, www.RalphLauren.jp (launched in June 2020) and www.RalphLauren.hk (launched in October 2020), servicing Japan and Hong Kong, respectively. We also sell our products online through various third-party digital partner commerce sites in Asia, as well as through our Polo mobile app in North America and the United Kingdom.
Our Ralph Lauren digital commerce sites offer our customers access to a broad array of Ralph Lauren, Polo, and Double RL apparel, footwear, accessories, watch and jewelry, fragrance, and home product assortments, and reinforce the luxury image of our brands. While investing in digital commerce operations remains a primary focus, it is an extension of our investment in the integrated omni-channel strategy used to operate our overall retail business, in which our digital commerce operations are interdependent with our physical stores.
Our Club Monaco digital commerce sites offer our domestic and Canadian customers access to our global assortment of Club Monaco apparel, footwear, and accessories product lines, as well as select online exclusives.
Our Wholesale Business
Our wholesale business sells our products globally to leading upscale and certain mid-tier department stores, specialty stores, and golf and pro shops, as well as to various third-party digital partners. We have continued to focus on elevating our brand by improving in-store product assortment and presentation, as well as full-price sell-throughs to consumers. As of the end of Fiscal 2021, our wholesale products were sold through approximately 9,000 doors worldwide, with the majority in specialty stores. Our products are also increasingly being sold through the digital commerce sites of many of our traditional wholesale customers and our third-party digital partners.
The primary product offerings sold through our wholesale channels of distribution include apparel, footwear, accessories, and home furnishings. Our luxury brands, including Ralph Lauren Collection and Ralph Lauren Purple Label, are distributed worldwide through a limited number of premier fashion retailers. In North America, our wholesale business is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, and to a lesser extent, specialty stores. In Europe, our wholesale business is comprised of a varying mix of sales to both department stores and specialty stores, depending on the country, as well as to various third-party digital partners. In Asia, our wholesale business is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, with related products distributed through shop-within-shops. We also distribute our wholesale products to certain licensed stores operated by our partners in Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
We sell the majority of our excess and out-of-season products through secondary distribution channels worldwide, including our retail factory stores.
Worldwide Wholesale Distribution Channels
The following table presents by segment the number of wholesale doors in our primary channels of distribution as of March 27, 2021:
Doors
North America4,404 
Europe3,920 
Asia500 
Total8,824 
In addition to our conventional wholesale doors, our products are increasingly being sold through the websites of many of our traditional wholesale customers, as well as those of our third-party digital partners. As of March 27, 2021, our wholesale business served approximately 100 third-party digital partners, primarily in Europe.
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We have three key wholesale customers that generate significant sales volume. During Fiscal 2021, sales to our three largest wholesale customers accounted for approximately 14% of our total net revenues. Substantially all sales to our three largest wholesale customers related to our North America segment.
Our products are sold primarily by our own sales forces. Our wholesale business maintains its primary showrooms in New York City, as well as regional showrooms in London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Stockholm. In addition, we recently introduced virtual showrooms, allowing our customers to experience and discover our product assortments in a retail setting remotely.
Shop-within-Shops.    As a critical element of our distribution to department stores, we and our licensing partners utilize shop-within-shops to enhance brand recognition, to permit more complete merchandising of our lines by the department stores, and to differentiate the presentation of our products.
The following table presents by segment the number of shop-within-shops in our primary channels of distribution as of March 27, 2021:
Shop-within-Shops
North America9,552 
Europe6,016 
Asia682 
Total16,250 
The size of our shop-within-shops ranges from approximately 85 to 9,200 square feet. Shop-within-shop fixed assets primarily include items such as customized freestanding fixtures, wall cases and components, decorative items, and flooring. We normally share in the cost of building out these shop-within-shops with our wholesale customers.
Replenishment Program.    Core products such as knit shirts, chino pants, oxford cloth shirts, select footwear and accessories, and home products can be ordered by our wholesale customers at any time through our replenishment program. We generally ship these products within two to five days of order receipt.
Backlog.    We generally receive wholesale orders approximately three to five months prior to the time the products are delivered to customers, with the exception of orders received through our replenishment program, which ship within two to five days of order receipt. Our wholesale orders are generally subject to broad cancellation rights. Further, the size of our order backlog depends upon a number of factors, including the timing of the market weeks for our particular lines during which a significant percentage of our orders are received and the timing of shipments, which varies from year-to-year with consideration for holidays, consumer trends, concept plans, and the replenishment program's usage. Consequently, the dollar amount of our backlog as of any date may not be indicative of actual future shipments and therefore is not meaningful in understanding our business taken as a whole.
Our Licensing Business
Through licensing alliances, we combine our consumer insight, design, and marketing skills with the specific product or geographic competencies of our licensing partners to create and build new businesses. We generally seek out licensing partners who are leaders in their respective markets, contribute the majority of product development costs, provide the operational infrastructure required to support the business, and own the inventory. Our licensing business has been aggregated with other non-reportable segments.
Product Licensing
We grant our product licensees the right to access our various trademarks in connection with the licensees' manufacture and sale of designated products, such as certain apparel, eyewear, fragrances, and home furnishings. Each product licensing partner pays us royalties based upon its sales of our products, generally subject to a minimum royalty requirement for the right to use our trademarks and design services. In addition, our licensing partners may be required to allocate a portion of their revenues to advertising our products and sharing in the creative costs associated with these products. Larger allocations typically are required in connection with launches of new products or in new territories. Our license agreements generally have two to five-year terms and may grant the licensees conditional renewal options.
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We work closely with all of our licensing partners to ensure that their products are developed, marketed, and distributed to reach the intended consumer and are presented consistently across product categories to convey the distinctive identity and lifestyle associated with our brands. Virtually all aspects of the design, production quality, packaging, merchandising, distribution, advertising, and promotion of Ralph Lauren products are subject to our prior approval and continuing oversight. We perform a broader range of services for most of our Ralph Lauren Home licensing partners than we do for our other licensing partners, including design, operating showrooms, marketing, and advertising.
The following table lists our largest licensing agreements as of March 27, 2021 for the product categories presented. Except as noted in the table, these product licenses cover North America only.
CategoryLicensed Products Licensing Partners
Men's ApparelUnderwear and SleepwearHanesbrands, Inc. (includes Japan)
Chaps, Lauren, and Ralph Tailored ClothingPeerless Clothing International, Inc.
Women's ApparelOuterwearS. Rothschild & Co., Inc.
Beauty ProductsFragrances, Cosmetics, and Skin Care L'Oreal S.A. (global)
FootwearMen's and women's slippers and children's footwearBBC International LLC (global)
AccessoriesEyewearLuxottica Group S.p.A. (global)
Socks and hosieryRenfro Corporation
HomeBedding and BathIchida Co., Ltd. (Japan only)
Utility and BlanketsIchida Co., Ltd. (Japan only) and Hollander Sleep Products LLC
Additionally, on October 29, 2020, we announced the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model, consistent with our long-term brand elevation strategy. Specifically, we have entered into a multi-year licensing partnership, taking effect on August 1, 2021 after a transition period, with an affiliate of 5 Star Apparel LLC, a division of the OVED Group, to manufacture, market, and distribute Chaps menswear and womenswear. See "Recent Developments" for additional discussion.
International Licensing
Our international licensing partners acquire the right to sell, promote, market, and/or distribute various categories of our products in a given geographic area and source products from us, our product licensing partners, and independent sources. International licensees' rights may include the right to own and operate retail stores. As of March 27, 2021, our international licensing partners operated 139 Ralph Lauren stores and shops, and 143 Club Monaco stores and shops. As discussed in "Recent Developments," on May 13, 2021, we announced the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
Digital Ecosystem
Investing in our digital ecosystem remains a primary focus and is a key component of our integrated global omni-channel strategy that spans across owned and partnered channels, both physical and digital. Our digital ecosystem is comprised of directly-operated platforms, wholesale partner websites, third-party digital pure players, and social commerce.
Our directly-operated digital commerce sites represent our digital flagships, featuring the most elevated expression of our brands. The strategy for our digital flagships is to deliver distinct and immersive brand experiences, continuously enhance consumer experience, and develop digital content that drives deeper consumer engagement and conversion. With the ongoing launch of our localized sites, including in Japan and Hong Kong this year, we continue to expand the reach of our digital flagship experience. We also brought our physical flagships to life in a digital format this year with the launch of our virtual store experience, allowing consumers to experience our brands and product assortments in a way that was previously only possible by walking into our stores. In connection with our long-term growth strategy, we are also working to broaden our omni-channel service offerings, such as Buy Online-Ship to Store and Buy Online-Pick Up in Store.
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Our products are also sold through the digital commerce sites of many of our wholesale customers across the globe. With all partners in our ecosystem, we seek to showcase the brand consistently with our values. We collaborate with our key wholesale customers to deliver the right content to the right audience, and leverage consumer insights to develop a holistic, channel-agnostic view of our consumer.
We also sell our products online through various third-party digital pure-play sites to reach younger consumers and amplify our brand messages. On many of these sites, we have created digital shop-in-shop environments with a consistent brand experience, tailored product stories, and an assortment that is carefully curated by our merchants. We also partner closely with our pure-play customers on marketing content and events, as well as optimizing search and other data analyses to drive higher traffic and conversion for our brands. We also continue to tap into the social commerce opportunity, such as our launch of Instagram Checkout this year.
In connection with our digital commerce operations, we engage consumers through various digital and social media platforms, which are supported through our collaboration with influencers who have an authentic connection to our brand.
Seasonality of Business
Our business is typically affected by seasonal trends, with higher levels of retail sales in our second and third fiscal quarters and higher wholesale sales in our second and fourth fiscal quarters. These trends result primarily from the timing of key vacation travel, back-to-school, and holiday shopping periods impacting our retail business and timing of seasonal wholesale shipments. As a result of changes in our business, consumer spending patterns, and the macroeconomic environment, including those resulting from pandemic diseases and other catastrophic events, historical quarterly operating trends and working capital requirements may not be indicative of our future performance. In addition, fluctuations in sales, operating income, and cash flows in any fiscal quarter may be affected by other events affecting retail sales, such as changes in weather patterns.
Working capital requirements vary throughout the year. Working capital requirements typically increase during the first half of the fiscal year as inventory builds to support peak shipping/selling periods and, accordingly, typically decrease during the second half of the fiscal year as inventory is shipped/sold. Cash provided by operating activities is typically higher in the second half of the fiscal year due to reduced working capital requirements during that period.
Product Design
Our products reflect a timeless and innovative interpretation of American style with a strong international appeal. Our consistent emphasis on new and distinctive design has been an important contributor to the prominence, strength, and reputation of the Ralph Lauren brands.
Our Ralph Lauren products are designed by, and under the direction of, Mr. Ralph Lauren and our design staff. We form design teams around our brands and product categories to develop concepts, themes, and products for each brand and category. Through close collaboration with merchandising, sales, and product management staff, these teams support all of our businesses in order to gain market information and other valuable input.
Marketing and Advertising
Our marketing and advertising programs communicate the themes and images of our brands and are integral to the success of our product offerings. The majority of our advertising programs are created and executed by our in-house creative and advertising agency to ensure consistency of presentation, which is complemented by our marketing experts in each region who help to execute our international strategies.
We create distinctive image advertising for our brands, conveying the particular message of each one within the context of the overall Ralph Lauren aesthetic. Advertisements generally portray a lifestyle rather than a specific item and include a variety of products offered by us and, in some cases, our licensing partners. Our communication campaigns are increasingly being executed through digital and social media platforms to drive further engagement with the younger consumer. With regard to influencers, we believe in fostering long-term relationships with those who have an authentic connection to our brand and influence the areas of culture that matter most to our audiences. We also continue to advertise through print and outdoor media, and, to a lesser extent, through television and cinema.
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Our digital advertising programs focus on high impact and innovative digital media outlets, which allow us to convey our key brand messages and lifestyle positioning. We also develop digital editorial initiatives that allow for deeper education and engagement around the Ralph Lauren lifestyle. We deploy these marketing and advertising initiatives through online, mobile, video, email, and social media. Our digital commerce sites present the Ralph Lauren lifestyle online, while offering a broad array of our apparel, footwear, accessories, and home product lines.
Additionally, we advertise in consumer and trade publications, and participate in cooperative advertising on a shared cost basis with some of our retail and licensing partners. We have outdoor advertising placements in key cities as well, focusing on impact and reach. We also provide point-of-sale fixtures and signage to our wholesale customers to enhance the presentation of our products at their retail locations. In addition, when our licensing partners are required to spend an amount equal to a percentage of their licensed product sales on advertising, in certain cases we coordinate the advertising placement on their behalf. We believe our investments in shop-within-shop environments and retail stores, including our global flagship locations, contribute to and enhance the themes of our brands to consumers.
We also conduct a variety of public relations activities. For example, we typically introduce each of our spring and fall menswear and womenswear collections at press presentations in major cities such as New York City and Milan. Such fashion events, in addition to celebrity red carpet dressing moments and events hosted in our stores and restaurants, including The Polo Bar in New York City, generate extensive domestic and international media and social coverage.
We continue to be the official outfitter for all on-court officials at both the Wimbledon and the U.S. Open tennis tournaments. Both tournaments provide worldwide exposure for our brand in a relevant lifestyle environment. We also continue to be the exclusive Official Parade Outfitter for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams, with the right to manufacture, distribute, advertise, promote, and sell products in the U.S. which replicate the Parade Outfits and associated leisure wear. We will be dressing the team for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in July and August 2021. As part of our involvement with Team U.S.A., we have established a partnership with athletes serving as brand ambassadors and as the faces of our advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns. We are also the official apparel outfitter for the Professional Golfers' Association ("PGA") of America, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Golf Association, and the U.S. Ryder Cup Team, as well as a partner of the American Junior Golf Association. We sponsor a roster of professional golfers, including Billy Horschel, Davis Love III, Doc Redman, Nick Watney, and Tom Watson.
We believe our partnerships with such prestigious global athletic events reinforce our brand's sporting heritage in a truly authentic way and serve to connect our Company and brands to our consumers through their individual areas of passion.
Sourcing, Production and Quality
We contract for the manufacture of our products and do not own or operate any production facilities. Over 300 different manufacturers worldwide produce our apparel, footwear, accessories, and home products, with no one manufacturer providing more than 6% of our total production during Fiscal 2021. We source both finished products and raw materials. Raw materials include fabric, buttons, and other trim. Finished products consist of manufactured and fully assembled products ready for shipment to our customers. In Fiscal 2021, approximately 97% of our products (by dollar value) were produced outside of the U.S., primarily in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, with approximately 20% of our products sourced from China and another 20% from Vietnam. See "Import Restrictions and Other Government Regulations," Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to Macroeconomic Conditions — Economic conditions could have a negative impact on our major customers, suppliers, vendors, and lenders, which in turn could materially adversely affect our business," and Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations — Our business is subject to risks associated with importing products and the ability of our manufacturers to produce our goods on time and to our specifications."
Most of our businesses must commit to the manufacturing of our garments before we sell finished goods, whether to wholly-owned retail stores or to wholesale customers. We also must commit to the purchase of fabric from mills well in advance of our sales. If we overestimate our primary customers' demand for a particular product or the need for a particular fabric or yarn, we primarily sell the excess products or garments made from such fabric or yarn in our factory stores or through other secondary distribution channels.
Suppliers operate under the close supervision of our global manufacturing division and buying agents headquartered in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe. All products are produced according to our specifications and standards. Production and quality control staff in Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe monitor manufacturing at supplier facilities in order to correct problems prior to shipment of the final product. Procedures have been implemented under our vendor certification and compliance programs so that quality assurance is reviewed early in the production process, allowing merchandise to be received at the distribution facilities and shipped to customers with minimal interruption.
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Competition
Competition is very strong in the segments of the fashion and consumer product industries in which we operate. We compete with numerous designers and manufacturers of apparel, footwear, accessories, fragrances, and home furnishing products, both domestic and international. We also face increasing competition from companies selling our product categories through the Internet. Some of our competitors may be significantly larger and have substantially greater resources than us. We compete primarily on the basis of fashion, quality, value, and service, which depend on our ability to:
anticipate and respond to changing consumer demands and shopping preferences, including the ever-increasing shift to digital brand engagement, social media communications, and online shopping;
create and maintain favorable brand recognition, loyalty, and reputation for quality;
develop and produce innovative, high-quality products that appeal to consumers of varying age groups;
competitively price our products and create an acceptable value proposition for consumers;
provide strong and effective marketing support;
provide attractive, reliable, secure, and user-friendly digital commerce sites;
obtain sufficient retail floor space, and effectively present our products to consumers;
attract consumer traffic to stores, shop-within-shops, and digital commerce sites;
source raw materials at cost-effective prices;
anticipate and maintain proper inventory levels;
ensure product availability and optimize supply chain and distribution efficiencies;
maintain and grow market share;
recruit and retain key employees;
protect our intellectual property; and
withstand prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions or business disruptions.
See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations — We face intense competition worldwide in the markets in which we operate."
Distribution
To facilitate global distribution, our products are shipped from manufacturers to a network of distribution centers around the world for inspection, sorting, packing, and delivery to our retail locations and digital commerce and wholesale customers. This network includes the following primary distribution facilities:
Facility LocationGeographic Region ServicedFacility
Ownership
N. Pendleton Street, High Point, North CarolinaU.S.Owned
NC Highway 66, High Point, North CarolinaU.S.Leased
Greensboro, North CarolinaU.S.Leased
Chino Hills, CaliforniaU.S.Third-party
Miami, FloridaU.S.Third-party
Toronto, OntarioCanadaThird-party
Parma, ItalyEurope and Latin AmericaThird-party
Yokohama, JapanJapanThird-party
Bugok, South KoreaSouth KoreaLeased
Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
China and Southeast Asia(a)
Third-party
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(a)Includes Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
All facilities are designed to allow for high-density cube storage and value-added services, and utilize unit and carton tracking technology to facilitate process control and inventory management. The distribution network is managed through globally integrated information technology systems.
Information Systems
Our information systems facilitate business processes, consumer experiences, and decision-making support across the Company and our extended ecosystem of manufacturers, vendors, business partners, and customers. Our system applications are connected to support the flow of information across functions, including:
product design, sourcing, and production;
comprehensive order processing, fulfillment, and distribution;
retail store and digital commerce operations;
marketing and advertising;
financial accounting and management reporting; and
human resources.
Our retail operation systems, including point-of-sale registers and merchandising, planning, and inventory management systems, support operational processes within our store network and link with our digital commerce processes to support omni-channel capabilities.
We are continually improving and upgrading our computer systems and software. For example, during Fiscal 2021, we began upgrading our value chain processes and technology to support advanced global capabilities for our supply and demand management solutions. In Fiscal 2021, we also migrated our analytics platform to the cloud to accelerate our advanced analytics capabilities across functions. We are also continually enhancing the consumer experience by adding new functionality to our direct-to-consumer channels.
We have a longstanding information security risk program committed to regular risk management practices surrounding the protection of confidential data. This program includes various technical controls, including security monitoring, data leakage protection, network segmentation and access controls around the computer resources that house confidential or sensitive data. We have also implemented employee awareness training programs around phishing, malware, and other cyber risks. We continually evaluate the security environment surrounding the handling and control of our critical data, especially the private data we receive from our customers, employees and partners, and have instituted additional measures to help protect us from system intrusion or data breaches. Additionally, we have purchased network security and cyber liability insurance in order to provide a level of financial protection, should a data breach occur.
See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to Information Systems and Data Security A data security or privacy breach could damage our reputation and our relationships with our customers or employees, expose us to litigation risk, and adversely affect our business" and "Risk Factors Risks Related to Information Systems and Data Security Our business could suffer if our computer systems and websites are disrupted or cease to operate effectively."
Wholesale Credit Control
We manage our own credit function. We sell our merchandise principally to major department stores, specialty stores, and third-party digital partners, and extend credit based on an evaluation of the wholesale customer's financial capacity and condition, usually without requiring collateral. We monitor credit levels and the financial condition of our wholesale customers on a continuing basis to minimize credit risk. We do not factor or underwrite our accounts receivables, nor do we maintain credit insurance to manage the risk of bad debts. In North America, collection and deduction transactional activities are provided through a third-party service provider. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations — A substantial portion of our revenue is derived from a limited number of large wholesale customers. Our business could be
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adversely affected as a result of consolidations, liquidations, restructurings, other ownership changes in the retail industry, and/or any financial instability of our large wholesale customers."
Trademarks
We own the RALPH LAUREN, POLO, POLO RALPH LAUREN, and the famous Polo Player Design trademarks in the U.S. and over 120 countries worldwide. Other trademarks that we own include:
PURPLE LABEL;
DOUBLE RL;
RRL & DESIGN;
RLX;
LAUREN RALPH LAUREN;
PINK PONY;
LAUREN;
RALPH;
POLO BEAR;
CHAPS;
CLUB MONACO; and
Various other trademarks.
Mr. Ralph Lauren has the royalty-free right to use as trademarks RALPH LAUREN, DOUBLE RL, and RRL in perpetuity in connection with, among other things, beef and living animals. The trademarks DOUBLE RL and RRL are currently used by the Double RL Company, an entity wholly owned by Mr. R. Lauren. In addition, Mr. R. Lauren has the right to engage in personal projects involving film or theatrical productions (not including or relating to our business) through RRL Productions, Inc., a company wholly owned by Mr. R. Lauren. Any activity by these companies has no impact on us.
Our trademarks are the subject of registrations and pending applications throughout the world for use on a variety of items of apparel, apparel-related products and accessories, home furnishings, restaurant and café services, online services and online publications, and beauty products, as well as in connection with retail services, and we continue to expand our worldwide usage and registration of related trademarks. In general, trademarks remain valid and enforceable as long as the marks are used in connection with the related products and services and the required registration renewals are filed. We regard the license to use the trademarks and our other proprietary rights in and to the trademarks as extremely valuable assets in marketing our products and, on a worldwide basis, vigorously seek to protect them against infringement. As a result of the appeal of our trademarks, our products have been the object of counterfeiting. While we have a broad enforcement program which has been generally effective in protecting our intellectual property rights and limiting the sale of counterfeit products in the U.S. and in most major markets abroad, we face greater challenges with respect to enforcing our rights against trademark infringement in certain parts of Asia.
In markets outside of the U.S., our rights to some or all of our trademarks may not be clearly established. Over the course of our international expansion, we have experienced conflicts with various third parties who have acquired ownership rights in certain trademarks, including POLO and/or a representation of a Polo Player Design, which impede our use and registration of our principal trademarks. While such conflicts are common and may arise again from time to time as we continue our international expansion, we have, in general, successfully resolved such conflicts in the past through both legal action and negotiated settlements with third-party owners of the conflicting marks (see Item 1A — "Risk Factors — Risks Related to our Business and Operations — Our trademarks and other intellectual property rights may not be adequately protected outside the U.S." and Item 3 — "Legal Proceedings" for further discussion). Although we have not suffered any material restraints or restrictions on doing business in desirable markets in the past, we cannot assure that significant impediments will not arise in the future as we expand product offerings and introduce trademarks to new markets.
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Import Restrictions and Other Government Regulations
Virtually all of our merchandise imported into the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand is subject to duties. In addition, most of the countries to which we ship could impose safeguard quotas and duties to protect their local industries from import surges that threaten to create market disruption. The U.S. and other countries may also unilaterally impose additional duties in response to a particular product being imported (from China or other countries) at unfairly traded prices in such increased quantities that would cause (or threaten) injury to the relevant domestic industry (generally known as "anti-dumping" actions). If dumping is suspected in the U.S., the U.S. government may self-initiate a dumping case on behalf of the U.S. textile industry which could significantly affect our costs. Furthermore, additional duties, generally known as countervailing duties, can also be imposed by the U.S. government to offset subsidies provided by a foreign government to foreign manufacturers if the importation of such subsidized merchandise injures or threatens to injure a U.S. industry.
In addition, each of the countries in which our products are sold has laws and regulations covering imports. Because the U.S. and the other countries in which our products are manufactured and sold may, from time to time, impose new duties, tariffs, surcharges, or other import controls or restrictions, or adjust presently prevailing duty or tariff rates or levels, we maintain a program of intensive monitoring of import restrictions and opportunities. We seek to minimize our potential exposure to import-related risks through, among other measures, adjustments in product design and fabrication, shifts of production among countries and manufacturers, and through geographical diversification of our sources of supply.
As almost all of our products are manufactured by foreign suppliers, the enactment of new legislation or the administration of current international trade regulations or executive action affecting textile agreements, or changes in sourcing patterns could adversely affect our operations. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, and Tax Matters  Our ability to conduct business globally may be affected by a variety of legal, regulatory, political, and economic risks" and "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations  Our business is subject to risks associated with importing products and the ability of our manufacturers to produce our goods on time and to our specifications."
We are also subject to other international trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, now known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and other special trade preference programs. A portion of our imported products are eligible for certain of these duty-advantaged programs.
Apparel and other products sold by us are under the jurisdiction of multiple governmental agencies, including, in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Our products are also subject to regulation in the U.S. and other countries, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which relate principally to product labeling, licensing requirements, and consumer product safety requirements and regulatory testing, particularly with respect to products used by children. Any failure to comply with such requirements could result in significant penalties and require us to recall products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business or operating results. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with these regulations, as well as applicable federal, state, local, and foreign rules and regulations governing the discharge of materials hazardous to the environment. We do not anticipate making any significant capital expenditures for environmental control matters either in the next fiscal year or in the near future. Our licensed products, licensing partners, buying/sourcing agents, and the vendors and factories with which we contract for the manufacture and distribution of our products are also subject to regulation. Our agreements require our licensing partners, buying/sourcing agents, vendors, and factories to operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and we are not aware of any violations which could reasonably be expected to have a material adverse effect on our business or operating results.
We are also subject to disclosure and reporting requirements, established under existing or new federal or state laws, such as the requirements to identify the origin and existence of certain "conflict minerals" under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and disclosures of specific actions to eradicate abusive labor practices in our supply chain under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. While we require our suppliers to operate in compliance with all applicable laws and our operating guidelines which promote ethical and socially responsible business practices, any violation of labor, environmental, health, and safety or other laws, or any divergence by an independent supplier's labor practices from generally accepted industry standards, could damage our reputation, disrupt our sourcing capabilities, and increase the cost of doing business, adversely affecting our results of operations. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations  Our business could suffer if we fail to comply with labor laws or if one of our manufacturers fails to use acceptable labor or environmental practices."
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Although we have not suffered any material restriction from doing business in desirable markets in the past, we cannot assure that significant impediments will not arise in the future as we expand product offerings and introduce additional trademarks to new markets.
Human Capital
Our purpose is to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. This purpose extends to how we provide resources to support our employees' health, well-being, work-life harmony, and quality of life. We believe that attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse work force that is both skilled and motivated is critical to the successful execution of our long-term growth strategy. To this end, we are committed to creating a culture and work environment in which all employees feel welcome and can thrive, both as individuals and as part of our team.
Our Board of Directors regularly reviews our people and development strategy, including our employee diversity, respect, and inclusion initiatives.
Our Employees
As of March 27, 2021, we had approximately 20,300 employees, comprised of approximately 12,100 full-time and 8,200 part-time employees. Approximately 10,400 of our employees are located in the U.S. and 9,900 are located in foreign countries. Approximately 5 of our U.S. production employees in the womenswear business are members of Workers United (which was previously known as UNITE HERE) under an industry association collective bargaining agreement, which our womenswear subsidiary has adopted. We consider our relations with both our union and non-union employees to be good.
As of March 27, 2021, approximately 64% and 36% of our global workforce self-identified as female and male, respectively, and in the U.S., approximately 39% of our workforce self-identified as white and 60% self-identified as an underrepresented race and ethnic group.
Diversity and Inclusion
We believe the diversity of our employees and our culture of inclusivity drive innovation and creativity, and we are committed to further strengthening such diversity and inclusion across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and mental health and wellness, among other demographics, ensuring fairness for all. Our diversity and inclusion ("D&I") strategy is guided by the following five pillars:
1.Talent — Cultivate diverse teams and elevate underrepresented talent to leadership ranks. In calendar 2019, we achieved our goal to have gender parity in our leadership ranks for Vice President and above. We are committed to have at least 20% of People of Color in our global leadership team by calendar 2023.
2.Collaboration and Belonging — Enable open dialogue and create safe spaces for the amplification of diverse voices and perspectives. During Fiscal 2021, we implemented six new internal advisory councils, as discussed below, and employee resource groups. We expanded our RL Community Groups to include a Working Parents Network, focusing on our employees who are parents and caregivers. We also established a company manifesto with specific and action-oriented commitments to elevate, amplify, and support the Black Community.
3.Learning — Build an inclusive culture through awareness, education, and deployment of mandatory D&I trainings globally. During Fiscal 2021, we expanded inclusive leadership learning with the rollout of an unconscious bias, allyship, and advocacy training, which is also now included in our new hire onboarding. In addition, we have mentoring and professional development programs offering internal and external development and career acceleration programs for underrepresented talent. We also provided scholarship funds to academic programs supporting underrepresented students.
4.Communication and Messaging — Maximize our inclusive message and increase the transparency of our D&I initiatives. We gather direct feedback from our employees and measure their engagement to better understand how we can improve. In Fiscal 2021, we expanded our approach to solicit employee feedback, shifting from an annual company-wide survey to more frequent pulse surveys on topical issues, specifically focusing on the experiences of our underrepresented employees. For Fiscal 2022, we plan to return to our global annual employee survey.
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5.Celebration and Recognition — Appreciate our unique differences and increase educational events for all employees with a focus on diverse experiences. In Fiscal 2021, we increased educational and celebratory events focused on diverse experiences with over 30 virtual D&I events with 10,000 participants globally. Our D&I efforts have been recognized in recent years, including being named a Best Place to Work for LGTBQIA+, receiving 100% on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index in calendar 2021 for the second year in a row, as well as being named Best Place to Advance for Women by Parity.Org.
During Fiscal 2021, we expanded our Global D&I Steering Committee whose members are directly accountable for executing on our D&I strategies ensuring consistent support to achieve our goals. This committee leads our newly created D&I Black and African American Commitment Working Groups, which provide a robust structural framework to action on our racial equity commitments. We also introduced advisory councils, including the Black Advisory Council, Asian Pacific Islander Council, Native American Council, and Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx Council, who advise our executive leadership team, marketing campaigns, and long-term programs and initiatives to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups at Ralph Lauren.
In addition to our robust D&I governance structure, our employees play a key role in embedding a culture of inclusion at Ralph Lauren through our other employee resource groups, including our Gender Community Group, Pride Group, and Disability, Mental Health, and Wellness Group. These groups promote dialogue, define D&I focus areas, and help us properly prioritize action plans and necessary resources to develop solutions.
Additional information relating to our D&I initiatives and goals can be found in our annual sustainability reports, which is available at our website at http://investor.ralphlauren.com under the caption "Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report." Our 2021 Global Citizenship & Sustainability Report is expected to be published in June 2021. The content of our sustainability reports is not incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K or in any other report or document we file with the SEC.
Learning and Development
We are committed to the growth and development of our employees and offer a wide range of training programs for all levels. In addition to receiving ongoing on-the-job training and coaching, our employees can build skills and prepare for the future through our Ralph Lauren Learning Portal. We added new courses this year, many of which focus on remote working skills, as well as D&I education. We also support learning beyond our walls through tuition assistance. These collective learning and development programs help foster career mobility for our employees, while simultaneously allowing us to fill open positions with existing employees who know our company best.
Employee Safety and Well-Being
We are committed to the safety, health, and overall well-being of each of our employees and their families, providing a wide array of physical, emotional, social, and financial support to meet this objective. THRIVE, our global wellness program, provides access to benefits such as flexible work arrangements, volunteer events, and physical and mental wellness support. We gather direct feedback from our workforce, including through regular employee surveys, which allows us to measure their engagement and understand how we can improve.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority has been to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our employees, customers, and the communities in which we operate in around the world. In this regard, we have implemented new health and safety protocols in our stores, distribution centers, and corporate offices. We have also expanded employee well-being services in the U.S. to include additional backup childcare, as well as MyStrength, an online wellness portal. Globally, we host monthly wellness webinars and provide weekly meditation classes through our RL Well-Being Exchange program. Financial grants have also been provided through the Ralph Lauren Employee Relief Fund for employees facing special circumstances.
Compensation and Benefits
We are committed to providing competitive compensation and benefits to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce. We are also committed to achieving pay equity throughout our organization, conducting biennial assessments with the assistance of an independent human capital management firm to analyze our employee compensation based on gender, race, and ethnicity. We offer a wide array of both employer-paid and employee-paid benefits to support our employees' overall financial, physical, and mental well-being, including, but not limited to, healthcare and welfare benefits, retirement savings, paid time off, temporary leave, sabbaticals, and flexible work arrangements. We also provide our employees a merchandise
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discount on most of our products. During Fiscal 2021, we expanded our medical benefits in the U.S. to our part-time employees, ensuring equitable benefits for our front-line employees. As a token of gratitude for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, we also recently provided a one-time $1,000 bonus to each of our global frontline workers in May 2021. Additionally, we made COVID-19 vaccines available in our North Carolina Health Clinic with over 400 employees receiving their first dose from an onsite counselor.
Information About Our Executive Officers
The following are our current executive officers and their principal recent business experience:
Ralph Lauren
  Age 81  Mr. Ralph Lauren founded our business in 1967 and, for five decades, has cultivated the iconography of America into a global lifestyle brand. He has been our Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer since November 2015, and a director of the Company since prior to our initial public offering in 1997. He had previously been our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since prior to our initial public offering in 1997 until November 2015. In addition, he was previously a member of our Advisory Board or the Board of Directors of our predecessors since their organization.
Patrice Louvet
Age 56Mr. Louvet has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer, and a director of the Company since July 2017. Prior to joining the Company, he served as the Group President, Global Beauty, of Procter & Gamble Co. ("P&G") since February 2015. Prior to that role, Mr. Louvet held successively senior leadership positions at P&G, including the roles of Group President, Global Grooming (Gillette), and President of P&G's Global Prestige Business. Before he joined P&G, he served as a Naval Officer, Admiral Aide de Camp in the French Navy from 1987 to 1989. Mr. Louvet graduated from École Supérieure de Commerce de Paris and received his M.B.A. from the University of Illinois. He has served as a member of the board of directors of Bacardi Limited since July 2012 and as a member of the board of directors of the National Retail Federation since January 2020.
Jane Hamilton Nielsen
Age 57Ms. Nielsen has been our Chief Financial Officer since September 2016 and our Chief Operating Officer since March 2019. She served as Chief Financial Officer of Coach, Inc. from September 2011 to August 2016. From 2009 to 2011, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo Beverages Americas and the Global Nutrition Group, divisions of PepsiCo, Inc., with responsibility for all financial management including financial reporting, performance management, capital allocation, and strategic planning. Prior to that, Ms. Nielsen held various senior roles in finance at PepsiCo, Inc. and Pepsi Bottling Group starting in 1996. She also serves on the board of directors of Mondelez International since May 2021, and previously served on the board of directors of Pinnacle Foods Inc. Ms. Nielsen received her M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and B.A. from Smith College.
Andrew Howard Smith
Age 50Mr. Smith has served as our Chief Commercial Officer since April 2019. He has been with our Company for over 17 years, having worked in various capacities based in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Prior to his current role, he was responsible for our International Division based in Geneva, Switzerland, with general management responsibility for all markets outside of North America. Prior to this, he led our businesses across Asia as Group President of Asia Pacific, and before that he was responsible for our Japan market as President & Representative Director of Japan. His roles before this include SVP Global Supply Chain, based in New York, where he worked around the world on operational acquisition integrations through our license buy-back phase, and various roles based in Europe in Supply Chain, Sales Order Management, and Merchandise Allocation. He has been instrumental in turning our Asia businesses to growth, and driving brand elevation and accelerating profitable growth across all of our International markets. Prior to joining our Company, Mr. Smith served as Head of Supply Chain for Selfridges & Co., the UK based department store group. Mr. Smith is a graduate of City, University of London.
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David Lauren
Age 49Mr. David Lauren is our Chief Innovation Officer, Strategic Advisor to the CEO, and Vice Chairman of the Board. He has served as our Chief Innovation Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board since October 2016. From November 2010 to October 2016, he served as our Executive Vice President of Global Advertising, Marketing and Communications. Prior to that, he served in numerous leadership roles at the Company with responsibility for advertising, marketing, and communications. He has been a director of the Company since August 2013. Mr. D. Lauren oversees the Company's innovation processes and capabilities to drive its brand strength and financial performance across all channels. He has been instrumental in growing the Company's global digital commerce business and pioneering our technology initiatives. He serves on the board of trustees of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention and the board of directors of The National Museum of American History. Mr. D. Lauren is also the President of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation (formerly known as the Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation). Before joining the Company in 2000, he was Editor-In-Chief and President of Swing, a general interest publication for Generation X. Mr. D. Lauren is the son of Mr. R. Lauren.
Item 1A.    Risk Factors
There are risks associated with an investment in our securities. The following risk factors should be read carefully in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any of the following risk factors could materially adversely affect our business, including our prospects, results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, the trading price of our securities, and/or the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this report. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us or that we currently view as immaterial may also materially adversely affect our business in future periods or if circumstances change.
Risks Related to Macroeconomic Conditions
Infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our business could be adversely affected by infectious disease outbreaks, such as the novel strain of coronavirus commonly referred to as COVID-19. COVID-19, which emerged beginning in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020, has spread rapidly across the globe, including throughout all major geographies in which we operate (North America, Europe, and Asia), resulting in adverse economic conditions and business disruptions, as well as significant volatility in global financial markets. Governments worldwide have periodically imposed varying degrees of preventative and protective actions, such as temporary travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and forced business closures or other operational restrictions, including reduced capacity limits and operating hours, all in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Such factors, among others, have resulted in a significant decline in retail traffic, tourism, and consumer spending on discretionary items.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced varying degrees of business disruptions and periods of closure of our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities, as have our wholesale customers, licensing partners, suppliers, and vendors, as described in Item 1 — "Business — Recent Developments." Collectively, these disruptions have had a material adverse impact on our business throughout Fiscal 2021. Despite the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic remains highly volatile and continues to evolve. Accordingly, we cannot predict for how long and to what extent this crisis will continue to impact our business operations or the global economy as a whole. Potential impacts to our business include, but are not limited to:
our ability to successfully execute our long-term growth strategy;
reduced retail traffic at our stores and those of our wholesale customers and licensing partners due to forced closures or other operational restrictions, such as reduced capacity limits and operating hours, declines in tourism, and/or potential changes in consumer behavior and shopping preferences, such as their willingness to congregate in shopping centers or other populated locations;
potential declines in the level of consumer purchases of discretionary items and luxury retail products, including our products, caused by higher unemployment and lower disposal income levels, travel and social gathering restrictions, work-from-home arrangements, or other factors beyond our control;
the potential build-up of excess inventory as a result of store closures and/or lower consumer demand;
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our ability to generate sufficient cash flows to support our operations, including repayment of our debt obligations as they become due, as well as to return value to our shareholders in the form of dividend payments and repurchases of our common stock;
the potential loss of one or more of our significant wholesale customers or licensing partners, or the loss of a large number of smaller wholesale customers or licensing partners, if they are not able to withstand prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions, and our ability to collect outstanding receivables;
temporary closures or other operational restrictions of our distribution centers and/or corporate facilities;
supply chain disruptions resulting from closed factories, reduced workforces, scarcity of raw materials, and scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in infected areas, including any related cost increases;
our ability to access capital markets and maintain compliance with covenants associated with our existing debt instruments, as well as the ability of our key customers, suppliers, and vendors to do the same with regard to their own obligations;
our ability to successfully negotiate with landlords to obtain rent abatements, rent deferrals, and other relief;
additional costs to protect the health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities, such as more frequent and thorough cleanings of our facilities and supplying personal protection equipment;
diversion of management attention and resources from ongoing business activities and/or a decrease in employee morale; and
our ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls and compliance with the requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Additional discussion related to the various risks and uncertainties described above is included elsewhere within this "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-K.
Economic, political, and other conditions may adversely affect the level of consumer purchases of discretionary items and luxury retail products, including our products.
The industries in which we operate are cyclical. Many economic and other factors outside of our control affect the level of consumer spending in the apparel, footwear, accessory, and home product industries, including, among others, man-made or natural disasters, including pandemic diseases such as COVID-19; consumer perceptions of personal well-being and safety; consumer perceptions of current and future economic conditions; employment levels and wage rates; stock market performance; inflation; interest rates; foreign currency exchange rates; the housing market; consumer debt levels; the availability of consumer credit; commodity prices, including fuel and energy costs; taxation; general domestic and international political conditions; the threat, outbreak, or escalation of terrorism, military conflicts, or other hostilities; and weather conditions.
Consumer purchases of discretionary items and luxury retail products, including our products, tend to decline during recessionary periods and at other times when disposable income is lower. Unfavorable economic conditions and other factors, such as pandemic diseases and other health-related concerns, political unrest, war, and acts of terrorism, may also reduce consumers' willingness and ability to travel to major cities and vacation destinations in which our stores and shop-within-shops are located. Further, consumers may prefer to spend more of their discretionary income on "experiences," such as dining and entertainment, over consumer goods. Stay-at-home orders, social gathering restrictions, and work-from-home arrangements, such as those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, may also diminish consumers’ demand for luxury apparel products. Accordingly, a downturn or an uncertain outlook in the economies in which we, or our wholesale customers and licensing partners, sell our products, or other changes in consumer preferences, may materially adversely affect our business.
Economic conditions could have a negative impact on our major customers, suppliers, vendors, and lenders, which in turn could materially adversely affect our business.
Although we believe that our existing cash and investments, cash provided by operations, and available borrowing capacity under our credit and overdraft facilities and commercial paper borrowing program will provide us with sufficient liquidity, the impact of economic conditions on our major customers, suppliers, vendors, and lenders, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, and their ability to access global capital markets cannot be predicted. The inability of major manufacturers to ship our products could impair our ability to meet the delivery date requirements of our customers. Deterioration in global financial or capital markets could affect our ability to access sources of liquidity to provide for our future cash needs, increase the cost of any future financing, or cause our lenders to be unable to meet their funding commitments under our credit and overdraft facilities. A disruption in the ability of our significant customers to access liquidity
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could cause serious disruptions or an overall deterioration of their businesses which could lead to a significant reduction in their future orders of our products and the inability or failure on their part to meet their payment obligations to us, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our business is exposed to domestic and foreign currency fluctuations.
Our business is exposed to foreign currency exchange risk. Specifically, changes in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and other currencies impact our financial results from a transactional perspective, as our foreign operations generally purchase inventory in U.S. dollars, as is common for most apparel companies. Given that we source most of our products overseas, the cost of these products may be affected by changes in the value of the relevant currencies. Changes in currency exchange rates may also impact consumers' willingness or ability to travel abroad and/or purchase our products while traveling, as well as affect the U.S. Dollar value of the foreign currency denominated prices at which our international businesses sell products. Additionally, the operating results and financial position of our international subsidiaries are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations as their financial results are translated from the respective local currency into U.S. Dollars during the financial statement consolidation process. The foreign currencies to which we are exposed to from a transactional and translational perspective primarily include the Euro, the Japanese Yen, the South Korean Won, the Australian Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, the British Pound Sterling, the Swiss Franc, and the Chinese Renminbi. The expansion of our international business increases our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk.
Although we hedge certain exposures to changes in foreign currency exchange rates arising in the ordinary course of business, we cannot fully anticipate all of our currency exposures and therefore foreign currency fluctuations may have a material adverse impact on our business. In addition, factors that could impact the effectiveness of our hedging activities include the volatility of currency markets, the accuracy of forecasted transactions, and the availability of hedging instruments. As such, our hedging activities may not completely mitigate the impact of foreign currency fluctuations on our results of operations. See Item 7 — "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Market Risk Management."
Risks Related to our Strategic Initiatives and Restructuring Activities
We cannot assure the successful implementation of our growth strategy.
We have developed a long-term growth strategy with the objective of delivering sustainable, profitable growth and long-term value creation for shareholders, as described in Item 1 — "Business — Objectives and Opportunities." Our ability to successfully execute our growth strategy is subject to various risks and uncertainties, as described herein.
Although we believe that our growth strategy will lead to long-term growth in revenue and profitability, there can be no assurance regarding the timing of or extent to which we will realize the anticipated benefits, if at all. Our failure to realize the anticipated benefits, which may be due to our inability to execute the various elements of our growth strategy, changes in consumer preferences, competition, economic conditions, and other risks described herein, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on our business. Such a failure could also result in the implementation of additional restructuring-related activities beyond those currently planned, which may be dilutive to our earnings in the short term.
Achievement of our growth strategy may require investment in new capabilities, distribution channels, and technologies. These investments may result in short-term costs without accompanying current revenues and, therefore, may be dilutive to our earnings in the short term. There can be no assurance regarding the timing of or extent to which we will realize the anticipated benefits of these investments and other costs, if at all.
We may not be successful in the expansion of our multi-channel distribution network or accelerating growth in certain product categories.
Implementation of our growth strategy involves the continuation and expansion of our multi-channel distribution network, including within international markets such as China, which is subject to many factors, including, but not limited to, our ability to:
identify new or underpenetrated markets where our products and brand will be accepted by consumers;
attract customers, particularly in new markets;
identify desirable freestanding and department store locations, the availability of which may be out of our control;
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negotiate acceptable lease terms, including desired tenant improvement allowances;
efficiently and cost effectively build-out stores and shop-within-shops;
source sufficient inventory levels to meet the needs of the new stores and shop-within-shops;
hire, train, and retain competent store personnel; and
integrate new stores and shop-within-shops into our existing systems and operations.
Any of these challenges could delay or otherwise prevent us from successfully executing our distribution expansion strategy. There can be no assurance that our new stores and shop-within-shops will be successful and profitable or if the capital costs associated with the build-out of such new locations will be recovered. Further, entry into new markets may bring us into competition with new or existing competitors that have a more established market presence than us or other competitive advantages. Other risks related to our international expansion plans include general economic conditions in specific countries and markets, changes in diplomatic and trade relationships and any resulting anti-American sentiment, political instability, and foreign government regulation, among other risks described herein. If our expansion plans are unsuccessful or do not deliver an appropriate return on our investments, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.
The success of our business also depends largely on our ability to continue to maintain, enhance, and expand our digital footprint and capabilities. In recent years, consumers have been increasingly shopping online using computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified this trend due in part to travel bans, stay-at-home orders, forced business closures, and other operational restrictions, which impede upon the ease at which consumers can shop at brick and mortar locations. Many consumers may also prefer to avoid populated locations, such as indoor shopping centers, in fear of exposing themselves to the virus or other infectious diseases. Any failure on our part, or on the part of our third-party digital partners, to provide attractive, reliable, secure, and user-friendly digital commerce platforms, including mobile apps, could negatively impact our customers' shopping experience resulting in reduced website traffic, diminished loyalty to our brands, and lost sales. In addition, as we continue to expand and increase the global presence of our digital commerce business, sales from our brick and mortar stores and wholesale channels of distribution in areas where digital commerce sites are introduced may decline due to changes in consumer shopping habits and cannibalization.
Our growth strategy also includes accelerating growth in certain high-value, underdeveloped product categories, comprised of denim, wear to work, outerwear, footwear, and accessories. We compete with other retailers in these product categories, some of which may be significantly larger than us and more established in these product categories, and competition is intense, as described within other risk factors herein. There can be no assurance that our targeted expansion in these product categories will be successful.
The success of our business depends on our ability to respond to constantly changing fashion and retail trends and consumer preferences in a timely manner, develop products that resonate with our existing customers and attract new customers, and provide a seamless shopping experience to our customers.
The industries in which we operate have historically been subject to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer preferences. Our success depends in large part on our ability to originate and define fashion product and home product trends, as well as to anticipate, gauge, and react to changing consumer preferences in a timely manner. Our products must appeal to a broad range of consumers worldwide whose preferences cannot be predicted with certainty and are subject to rapid change, influenced by fashion trends, economic conditions, and weather conditions, among other factors. This issue is further compounded by the increasing use of digital and social media by consumers and the speed by which information and opinions are shared across the globe. We cannot assure that we will be able to continue to develop appealing styles or successfully meet constantly changing consumer preferences in the future. In addition, we cannot assure that any new products or brands that we introduce will be successfully received by consumers. Any failure on our part to anticipate, identify, and respond effectively to changing consumer preferences and fashion trends could adversely affect consumer acceptance of our products and leave us with a substantial amount of unsold inventory or missed opportunities. Conversely, if we underestimate consumer demand for our products or if manufacturers fail to supply quality products in a timely manner, we may experience inventory shortages. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business. For a discussion of risks related to our inventory management, see "Risks Related to our Strategic Initiatives and Restructuring Activities — Our profitability may decline if we are unable to effectively manage inventory or as a result of increasing pressure on margins."
Our marketing and advertising programs are integral to the success of our product offerings and on our ability to attract new customers and retain existing customers. Our communication campaigns are increasingly being executed through digital and social media platforms to drive further engagement with the younger consumer, with a focus on influencers. However, we cannot assure that our marketing and advertising programs will be successful or appeal to consumers.
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The success of our business also depends on our ability to continue to develop and maintain a reliable omni-channel experience for our customers, as well as our ability to introduce new Connected Retail capabilities, such as virtual clienteling, Buy Online-Ship to Store, Buy Online-Pick Up in Store, curbside pickup, appointment scheduling, and mobile checkout. Our business has evolved from an in-store experience to a shopping experience through multiple technologies, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices, as our customers have become increasingly technologically savvy. We are increasingly using digital and social media platforms to interact with customers and enhance their shopping experience. If we are unable to develop and continuously improve our customer-facing technologies, we may not be able to provide a convenient and consistent experience to our customers regardless of the sales channel. This could negatively affect our ability to compete with other retailers and result in diminished loyalty to our brands, which could adversely impact our business.
We have also implemented, and expect to continue to implement, new store design concepts as part of our growth strategy. There can be no assurance that any of our store designs will resonate with customers or otherwise achieve the desired sales and profitability measures necessary to recover our initial capital investments. If customers are not receptive to the design layout or visual merchandising of our stores, our business could be adversely affected. In addition, the failure of our store designs to achieve acceptable results could lead to our decision to close a store prior to the lease expiration date. For additional discussion of risks related to the early termination of our leases, see "Risks Related to our Business and Operations Our business is subject to risks associated with leasing real estate and other assets under long-term, non-cancellable leases."
Our profitability may decline if we are unable to effectively manage inventory or as a result of increasing pressure on margins.
We have implemented key strategic initiatives designed to optimize our inventory levels and improve the efficiency and responsiveness of our supply chain. Although we have shortened lead times for the design, sourcing, and production of certain of our product lines, we expect to continue to place orders with our vendors for the majority of products in advance of the related selling season. As a result, we are vulnerable to changes in consumer preferences and demand and pricing shifts. Our failure to continue to shorten lead times or to correctly anticipate consumer preferences and demand could result in the build-up of excess inventory. Other factors beyond our control could also result in the build-up of excess inventory, including unforeseen adverse economic conditions or business disruptions, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Excess inventory levels could result in the utilization of less-preferred distribution channels, markdowns, promotional sales, donations, or destruction to dispose of such excess or slow-moving inventory, which may negatively impact our overall profitability and/or impair the image of our brands. Conversely, if we underestimate consumer demand for our products or if manufacturers fail to supply quality products in a timely manner, we may experience inventory shortages, which may negatively impact customer relationships, diminish brand loyalty, and result in lost sales. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Additionally, our industry is subject to significant pricing pressure caused by many factors, including intense competition and a highly promotional retail environment, consolidation in the retail industry, pressure from retailers to reduce the costs of products, and changes in consumer spending patterns. Although we continue to limit our promotional activity in connection with our quality of sales initiatives, these factors may cause us to reduce our sales prices to retailers and consumers, which could cause our gross margin to decline if we are unable to appropriately manage inventory levels and/or otherwise offset price reductions with comparable reductions in our costs. If our sales prices decline and we fail to sufficiently reduce our product costs or operating expenses, our profitability will decline. In addition, changes in our customer, channel, and geographic sales mix could have a negative impact on our profitability. Any of these outcomes could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We may not fully realize the expected cost savings and/or operating efficiencies from our restructuring plans.
We have implemented restructuring plans to support key strategic initiatives, such as the Fiscal 2021 Strategic Realignment Plan, as described in Item 1 — "Business — Recent Developments." Although designed to deliver long-term sustainable growth, restructuring plans present significant potential risks that may impair our ability to achieve anticipated operating enhancements and/or cost reductions, or otherwise harm our business, including:
higher than anticipated costs in implementing planned workforce reductions, particularly in highly regulated locations outside the U.S.;
higher than anticipated lease termination and store or facility closure costs (see "Risks Related to our Business and Operations Our business is subject to risks associated with leasing real estate and other assets under long-term, non-cancellable leases");
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failure to meet operational targets or customer requirements due to the loss of employees or inadequate transfer of knowledge;
failure to maintain adequate controls and procedures while executing, and subsequent to completing, our restructuring plans;
diversion of management attention and resources from ongoing business activities and/or a decrease in employee morale;
attrition beyond any planned reduction in workforce; and
damage to our reputation and brand image due to our restructuring-related activities, including the closure of certain of our stores.
If we are not successful in implementing and managing our restructuring plans, we may not be able to achieve targeted operating enhancements, sales growth, and/or cost reductions, which could adversely impact our business. Our failure to achieve targeted results for any reason, including business disruptions from pandemic diseases such as COVID-19, could also lead to the implementation of additional restructuring-related activities, which may be dilutive to our earnings in the short term.
Risks Related to our Business and Operations
The loss of the services of Mr. Ralph Lauren or any other changes to our executive and senior management team may be disruptive to, or cause uncertainty in, our business.
Mr. Ralph Lauren's leadership in the design and marketing areas of our business has been a critical element of our success since the inception of our Company. Mr. R. Lauren is instrumental to, and closely identified with, our brand that bears his name. Our ability to maintain our brand image and leverage the goodwill associated with Mr. R. Lauren's name may be damaged if we were to lose his services. The death or disability of Mr. R. Lauren or other extended or permanent loss of his services, or any negative market or industry perception with respect to him or arising from his loss, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We also depend on the service and management experience of other key executive officers and members of senior management who have substantial experience and expertise in our industry and our business and have made significant contributions to our growth and success. Competition in our industry to attract and retain these employees is intense and is influenced by our reputation, our ability to offer competitive compensation and benefits, and economic conditions, among other factors. Any changes in our executive and senior management team, including those resulting from our restructuring actions, may be disruptive to, or cause uncertainty in, our business and future strategic direction. The departure of any key individuals and the failure to ensure a smooth transition and effective transfer of knowledge involving senior employees could hinder or delay our strategic planning and execution, as well as adversely affect our ability to attract and retain other experienced and talented employees. Such departures could also impede our ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls and compliance with the requirements under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Any such disruptions could have a material adverse impact on our business.
We are not protected by a material amount of key-man or similar life insurance covering our executive officers, including Mr. R. Lauren, or other members of senior management. We have entered into employment agreements with certain of our executive officers, but competition for experienced executives in our industry is intense and the non-compete period with respect to certain of our executive officers could, in some circumstances in the event of their termination of employment with our Company, end prior to the employment term set forth in their employment agreements.
We face intense competition worldwide in the markets in which we operate.
We face increasing competition from companies selling apparel, footwear, accessories, home, and other of our product categories through the Internet. Although we sell our products through the Internet, increased competition and promotional activity in the worldwide apparel, footwear, accessory, and home product industries from Internet-based competitors could reduce our sales, prices, and margins. We also face intense competition from other domestic and foreign fashion-oriented apparel, footwear, accessory, and casual apparel producers that sell products through brick and mortar stores and wholesale and licensing channels. We compete with these companies primarily on the basis of:
anticipating and responding in a timely fashion to changing consumer demands and shopping preferences, including the ever-increasing shift to digital brand engagement, social media communications, and online shopping;
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creating and maintaining favorable brand recognition, loyalty, and a reputation for quality;
developing and producing innovative, high-quality products in sizes, colors, and styles that appeal to consumers of varying age groups;
competitively pricing our products and creating an acceptable value proposition for consumers;
providing strong and effective marketing support;
providing attractive, reliable, secure, and user-friendly digital commerce sites;
obtaining sufficient retail floor space and effective presentation of our products at stores and shop-within-shops;
attracting consumer traffic to stores, shop-within-shops, and digital commerce sites;
sourcing raw materials at cost-effective prices;
anticipating and maintaining proper inventory levels;
ensuring product availability and optimizing supply chain and distribution efficiencies with third-party manufacturers and retailers;
maintaining and growing market share;
recruiting and retaining key employees;
protecting our intellectual property; and
ability to withstand prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions or business disruptions.
Some of our competitors may be significantly larger and more diversified and may have greater financial, marketing, and distribution resources, more desirable store locations, and/or greater digital commerce presence than us, among other competitive advantages. Such competitive advantages may enable them to better withstand unfavorable economic conditions, compete more effectively on the basis of price and production, and/or more quickly respond to rapidly changing fashion trends and consumer preferences than us. In addition, technological advances and the retail industry's low barriers to entry allow for the introduction of new competitors and products at a rapid pace. Any increased competition, or our failure to adequately address any of these competitive factors, could result in reduced market share or sales, which could adversely affect our business.
The success of our business depends on our ability to retain the value and reputation of our brands.
Our success depends on the value and reputation of our brands and our ability to consistently anticipate, identify, and respond to customers' demands, preferences, and fashion trends in the design, pricing, and production of our products, including the preference for certain products to be manufactured in the U.S. Any negative publicity regarding Mr. R. Lauren, or other members of our executive and senior management team, or our Company as a whole, especially through social media which accelerates and increases the potential scope of negative publicity, could negatively impact the image of our brands with our customers and result in diminished loyalty to our brands, even if the subject of such publicity is unverified or inaccurate and we seek to correct it. There is also increased focus from consumers, employees, investors, and other stakeholders concerning corporate citizenship and sustainability matters. Although we have established certain long-term initiatives and goals regarding our impact on the environment and society as a whole, including our diversity and inclusion initiatives, there can be no assurance that our various stakeholders will agree with our initiatives or if we will be successful in achieving our goals. Our failure to comply with ethical, social, product safety, labor, health, environmental, privacy, or other standards and regulations could damage the reputation of our brands and lead to adverse consumer actions and/or investment decisions by investors, as well as expose us to government enforcement action and/or private litigation. Even if we react appropriately to negative publicity, our customers' perception of our brand image and our reputation could be negatively impacted. Any failure on our part to retain the value and reputation of brands could adversely impact our business.
Our trademarks and other intellectual property rights may not be adequately protected outside the U.S.
We believe that our trademarks, intellectual property, and other proprietary rights are extremely important to our success and our competitive position. We devote substantial resources to the establishment and protection of our trademarks and anti-counterfeiting activities worldwide. However, significant counterfeiting and imitation of our products continue to exist. In addition, the laws of certain foreign countries may not protect trademarks or other proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the U.S. and, as a result, our intellectual property may be more vulnerable and difficult to protect in such countries. Over the course of our international expansion, we have experienced conflicts with various third parties that have acquired or
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claimed ownership rights to some of our key trademarks that include Polo and/or a representation of a polo player astride a horse, or otherwise have contested our rights to our trademarks. We have resolved certain of these conflicts through both legal action and negotiated settlements. We cannot guarantee that the actions we have taken to establish and protect our trademarks and other proprietary rights will be adequate to prevent counterfeiting, lost business, or brand dilution, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business. We expect to continue to devote substantial resources to challenge brands arising from imitation of our products. Also, there can be no assurance that others will not assert rights in, or ownership of, trademarks and other proprietary rights of ours or that we will be able to successfully resolve these types of conflicts to our satisfaction or at all. See Item 1 — "Business — Trademarks," and Item 3 — "Legal Proceedings."
Our business is subject to risks associated with importing products and the ability of our manufacturers to produce our goods on time and to our specifications.
We do not own or operate any manufacturing facilities and depend exclusively on independent third parties for the manufacture of our products. Our products are manufactured to our specifications through arrangements with over 300 foreign manufacturers in various countries. In Fiscal 2021, approximately 97% of our products (by dollar value) were produced outside of the U.S., primarily in Asia, Europe, and Latin America, with approximately 20% of our products sourced from China and another 20% from Vietnam. Risks inherent in importing our products include:
pandemic diseases, such as COVID-19, which could result in closed factories, reduced workforces, scarcity of raw materials, port congestion, and scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in infected areas;
changes in social, political, and economic conditions or terrorist acts that could result in the disruption of trade from the countries in which our manufacturers or suppliers are located;
the imposition of additional regulations, quotas, or safeguards relating to imports or exports, and costs of complying with such regulations and other laws relating to the identification and reporting of the sources of raw materials used in our products;
the imposition of additional duties, tariffs, taxes, and other charges on imports or exports;
unfavorable changes in the availability, cost, or quality of raw materials and commodities;
increases in the cost of labor, travel, and transportation;
disruptions of shipping and international trade caused by natural and man-made disasters, labor shortages (stemming from labor disputes, strikes, or otherwise), or other unforeseen events;
heightened terrorism-related cargo and supply chain security concerns, which could subject imported or exported goods to additional, more frequent, or more thorough inspections, leading to delays in the delivery of cargo;
decreased scrutiny by customs officials for counterfeit goods, leading to lost sales, increased costs for our anti-counterfeiting measures, and damage to the reputation of our brands; and
the imposition of sanctions in the form of additional duties either by the U.S. or its trading partners to remedy perceived illegal actions by national governments.
In addition, the inability of a manufacturer to ship orders of our products in a timely manner or to meet our strict quality standards could cause us to miss the delivery date requirements of our customers for those items, which could result in cancellation of orders, refusal to accept deliveries, or a substantial reduction in purchase prices. Prices of raw materials used to manufacture our products may also fluctuate significantly as a result of many factors, including general economic conditions, energy prices, crop yields, and availability of labor and the related costs of such labor. Any increases in prices of such raw materials could have a material adverse effect on our cost of sales. Furthermore, the cost of labor at many of our third-party manufacturers has been increasing significantly and, as the middle class in developing countries such as China continues to grow, it is unlikely that such cost pressure will abate. The cost of transportation remains significant as well, and it is likely that such cost will fluctuate significantly if oil prices remain volatile. We may not be able to offset such increases in raw materials, freight, or labor costs through pricing actions or other means.
Any one of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business. For a discussion of risks related to the potential imposition of additional regulations and laws, see "Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, and Tax Matters Our ability to conduct business globally may be affected by a variety of legal, regulatory, political, and economic risks."
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Our business could suffer if we need to replace manufacturers or distribution centers.
We do not own or operate any manufacturing facilities and depend exclusively on independent third parties for the manufacture of our products. We compete with other companies for the production capacity of our manufacturers. Some of these competitors may place larger orders than we do, and thus may have an advantage in securing production capacity. If we experience a significant increase in demand, or if an existing manufacturer of ours must be replaced, we may have to expand our third-party manufacturing capacity. We cannot guarantee that this additional capacity will be available when required on terms that are acceptable to us. See Item 1 — "Business — Sourcing, Production and Quality." We enter into purchase order commitments each season specifying a time for delivery, method of payment, design and quality specifications, and other standard industry provisions, but do not have long-term contracts with any manufacturer. None of the manufacturers we use produce our products exclusively.
In addition, we rely on a number of owned, leased, and independently-operated distribution facilities around the world to warehouse and ship products to our customers and perform other related logistic services. Our ability to meet the needs of our customers depends on the proper operation of these distribution centers. Our distributions centers generally utilize computer-controlled and automated equipment, which are subject to various risks, including software viruses, security breaches, power interruptions, or other system failures. If any of our distribution centers were to close or become inoperable or inaccessible for any reason, including pandemic diseases such as COVID-19, or if we fail to successfully consolidate existing facilities or transition to new facilities, we could experience a substantial loss of inventory, disruption of deliveries to our customers and our stores, increased costs, and longer lead times associated with the distribution of products during the period that would be required to reopen or replace the facility. Any such disruptions could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We also rely upon third-party transportation providers for substantially all of our product shipments, including shipments to and from our distribution centers, to our stores and shop-within-shops, and to our digital commerce and wholesale customers. Our utilization of these shipping services is subject to various risks, including, but not limited to, potential labor shortages (stemming from labor disputes, strikes, or otherwise), severe weather, and pandemic diseases, which could delay the timing of shipments, and increases in wages and fuel prices, which could result in higher transportation costs. Any delays in the timing of our product shipments or increases in transportation costs could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our business is subject to risks associated with leasing real estate and other assets under long-term, non-cancellable leases.
We generally operate most of our stores and corporate facilities under long-term, non-cancellable leasing arrangements. Our retail store leases typically require us to make minimum rental payments, and often contingent rental payments based upon sales. In addition, our leases generally require us to pay our proportionate share of the cost of insurance, taxes, maintenance, and utilities. We generally cannot cancel our leases at our option. If we decide to close a store, or if we decide to downsize, consolidate, or relocate any of our corporate facilities, we may be required to record an impairment charge and/or exit costs associated with the disposal of the store or corporate facility. In addition, we may remain obligated under the applicable lease for, among other things, payment of the base rent for the remaining lease term, even after the space is exited or otherwise closed and even if such closures are beyond our control (such as the recent forced store closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic). Such costs and obligations related to the early or temporary closure of our stores or termination of our leases could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, as each of our leases naturally expires, we may be unable to negotiate renewals, either on commercially acceptable terms or at all, which could lead to store closures resulting in lost sales.
A substantial portion of our revenue is derived from a limited number of large wholesale customers. Our business could be adversely affected as a result of consolidations, liquidations, restructurings, other ownership changes in the retail industry, and/or any financial instability of our large wholesale customers.
Several of our department store customers, including some under common ownership, account for a significant portion of our wholesale net sales. A substantial portion of sales of our licensed products by our domestic licensing partners are also made to our largest department store customers. Sales to our three largest wholesale customers accounted for approximately 14% of total net revenues for Fiscal 2021, and these customers accounted for approximately 30% of our total gross trade accounts receivable outstanding as of March 27, 2021. Substantially all sales to our three largest wholesale customers related to our North America segment.
We typically do not enter into long-term agreements with our customers. Instead, we enter into a number of purchase order commitments with our customers for each of our product lines every season. A decision by the controlling owner of a group of stores or any other significant customer, whether motivated by economic conditions, financial difficulties, competitive
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conditions, or otherwise, to decrease or eliminate the amount of merchandise purchased from us or our licensing partners or to change their manner of doing business with us or our licensing partners or their new strategic and operational initiatives, including their continued focus on further development of their "private label" initiatives, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
The department store sector has also experienced numerous consolidations, restructurings, reorganizations, and other ownership changes in recent years, which could potentially increase in frequency as a result of prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions, such as those being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, or changes in consumer shopping preferences, such as the increasing shift away from traditional brick and mortar wholesale retailers to larger online retailers. Our wholesale customers have experienced significant business disruptions as a result of the pandemic, including declines in retail traffic, temporary store closures, and other operational restrictions. There can be no assurance that our wholesale customers have adequate financial resources and/or access to additional capital to withstand prolonged periods of such adverse economic conditions. The loss of one or more significant wholesale customers, or the loss of a large number of smaller wholesale customers, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Further, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain of our large wholesale customers, particularly those located in the U.S., have been highly promotional and have aggressively marked down their merchandise, including our products. The continuation of such promotional activity could negatively impact our brand image and/or lead to requests from those customers for increased markdown allowances at the end of the season. In response and in connection with our growth plan, we strategically reduce shipments to certain of our customers and close less productive doors when deemed appropriate.
We sell our wholesale merchandise primarily to major department stores, specialty stores, and third-party digital partners across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and extend credit based on an evaluation of each wholesale customer's financial condition, usually without requiring collateral. However, the financial difficulties of a wholesale customer, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, could cause us to limit or eliminate our business with that customer. We may also assume more credit risk relating to that customer's receivables. Our inability to collect on our trade accounts receivable from any one of these customers could have a material adverse effect on our business. See Item 1 — "Business — Wholesale Credit Control."
We have a substantial amount of indebtedness which could restrict our ability to engage in additional capital-related transactions in the future.
As of March 27, 2021, our consolidated indebtedness was approximately $1.633 billion, comprised of our outstanding borrowings under Senior Notes. We also maintain several credit and overdraft facilities, including our Global Credit Facility, which collectively had a remaining availability of approximately $571 million as of March 27, 2021. Accordingly, the amount of our indebtedness could further increase materially if we decide to draw upon our credit or overdraft facilities.
We rely on our operating cash flows to repay our outstanding borrowings, as well as to fund any working capital needs, capital expenditures, dividend payments, share repurchases, and other general corporate purposes. Prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions or business disruptions in any of our key regions, or a combination thereof, such as those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, could impede our ability to pay our obligations as they become due or return value to our shareholders, as well as delay previously planned expenditures related to our operations. Credit rating agencies also periodically review our capital structure and our ability to generate earnings. A prolonged period of deteriorated financial performance or our inability to comply with debt covenants (as discussed below) could make future financing more difficult to secure and/or expensive. Further, factors beyond our control, such as adverse economic conditions, could disrupt capital markets and limit the availability or willingness of financial institutions to extend capital to us in the future.
Certain of our debt instruments contain a number of affirmative and negative covenants. On May 26, 2020, we entered into an amendment to our Global Credit Facility that relaxed certain financial covenants while providing additional restrictions under our negative covenants for a specified period of time as further described in Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements. Our amended Global Credit Facility also contains representations and warranties, including that there has been no material adverse change in the business, operations, property, or condition (financial or otherwise) of the Company and its subsidiaries, taken as a whole. Our failure to comply with such covenants or representations and warranties, or otherwise secure temporary waivers of non-compliance, could result in the termination of the related facilities and/or our lenders demanding any amounts outstanding to be immediately repaid, which could have a material adverse effect on our business. Further, even if we are able to obtain waivers of non-compliance, such waivers may result in incremental fees, higher interest rates, and/or additional restrictions and covenants.
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We rely on our licensing partners to preserve the value of our licenses. Failure to maintain licensing partners could harm our business.
The risks associated with our own products also apply to our licensed products in addition to any number of possible risks specific to a licensing partner's business, including risks associated with a particular licensing partner's ability to (i) obtain capital; (ii) execute its business plans; (iii) manage its labor relations; (iv) maintain relationships with its suppliers and customers; (v) generate sufficient cash flows to fund its operations and pay its obligations as they become due, including minimum royalties due to us; (vi) withstand prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions, such as those being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and (vii) manage its credit and bankruptcy risks effectively.
Although a number of our license agreements prohibit our licensing partners from entering into licensing arrangements with our competitors, our licensing partners generally are not precluded from offering, under other non-competitor brands, the types of products covered by their license agreements with us. A substantial portion of sales of our products by our domestic licensing partners are also made to our largest customers. While we have significant control over our licensing partners' products and advertising, we rely on our licensing partners for, among other things, operational and financial control over their businesses. Changes in management, reduced sales of licensed products, poor execution, or financial difficulties with respect to any of our licensing partners could adversely affect our revenues, both directly from reduced licensing revenue received and indirectly from reduced sales of our other products. Although we believe that we could replace our existing licensing partners in most circumstances, if necessary, our inability to do so for any period of time could adversely affect our revenues, both directly from reduced licensing revenue received and indirectly from reduced sales of our other products. See Item 1 — "Business — Our Licensing Business."
Our business could be adversely affected by man-made or natural disasters and other catastrophic events in the locations in which we or our customers or suppliers operate.
Our operations, including retail, distribution, and warehousing operations, are susceptible to man-made or natural disasters, including pandemic diseases such as COVID-19, severe weather, geological events, and other catastrophic events, such as terrorist attacks and military conflict, any of which could disrupt our operations. In addition, the operations of our customers and suppliers could experience similar disruptions. The occurrence of natural disasters or other catastrophic events may result in sudden disruptions in the business operations of the local economies affected, as well as of the regional and global economies. The occurrence of such events could also adversely affect financial markets and the availability of capital. In addition, our business can be affected by unseasonable weather conditions, such as extended periods of unseasonably warm temperatures in the winter or unseasonably cold temperatures in the summer. Any of these events could result in decreased demand for our products and disruptions in our sales channels and manufacturing and distribution networks, which could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Risks Related to Information Systems and Data Security
A data security or privacy breach could damage our reputation and our relationships with our customers or employees, expose us to litigation risk, and adversely affect our business.
We are dependent on information technology systems and networks, including the Internet, for a significant portion of our direct-to-consumer sales, including our digital commerce operations and retail business credit card transaction authorization and processing. We are also responsible for storing data relating to our customers and employees and rely on third parties for the operation of our digital commerce sites and for the various social media tools and websites we use as part of our marketing strategy. In our normal course of business, we often collect, transmit, and/or retain certain sensitive and confidential customer information, including credit card information. There is significant concern by consumers, employees, and lawmakers alike over the security of personal information transmitted over the Internet, consumer identity theft, and user privacy, as cyber-criminals are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their attempts to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and confidential or sensitive data.
Despite the security measures we currently have in place (including those described in Item 1 — "Business — Information Systems"), our facilities and systems and those of our third-party service providers may be vulnerable to security breaches, acts of vandalism, phishing attacks, computer viruses, malware, ransomware, misplaced or lost data, programming and/or human errors, or other Internet or email events. The increased use of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices, as well as the need for a substantial portion of our corporate employees to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, may also heighten these and other operational risks. The retail industry in particular continues to be the target of many cyber-attacks, which are becoming increasingly more difficult to anticipate and prevent due to their rapidly evolving nature. Although we have purchased network security and cyber liability insurance to provide a level of financial protection should a data breach occur,
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such insurance may not cover us against all claims or costs associated with such a breach. Additionally, the technology we use to protect our systems from being breached or compromised could become outdated as a result of advances in computer capabilities or other technological developments. Further, measures we implement to protect our computer systems against cyber-attacks may make them harder to use or reduce the speed at which they operate, which in turn could negatively impact our customers' shopping experience resulting in reduced website traffic, diminished loyalty to our brands, and lost sales.
Any perceived or actual electronic or physical security breach involving the misappropriation, loss, or other unauthorized disclosure of confidential or personally identifiable information, including penetration of our network security, whether by us or by a third party, could disrupt our business, severely damage our reputation and our relationships with our customers or employees, expose us to risks of litigation, significant fines and penalties, and liability, and result in deterioration in our customers' and employees' confidence in us, and adversely affect our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Since we do not control third-party service providers and cannot guarantee that no electronic or physical computer break-ins and security breaches will occur in the future, any perceived or actual unauthorized disclosure of personally identifiable information regarding our employees, customers, or website visitors could harm our reputation and credibility, result in lost sales, impair our ability to attract website visitors, and/or reduce our ability to attract and retain employees and customers. As these threats develop and grow, we may find it necessary to make significant further investments to protect data and our infrastructure, including the implementation of new computer systems or upgrades to existing systems, deployment of additional personnel and protection-related technologies, engagement of third-party consultants, and training of employees.
In addition, the regulatory environment relating to information security and privacy is becoming increasingly more demanding with frequent new requirements surrounding the handling, protection, and use of personal and sensitive information. We may incur significant costs in complying with the various applicable state, federal, and foreign laws regarding protection of, and unauthorized disclosure of, personal information. Additionally, failing to comply with such laws and regulations could damage the reputation of our brands and lead to adverse consumer actions, as well as expose us to government enforcement action and/or private litigation, any of which could adversely affect our business.
Our business could suffer if our computer systems and websites are disrupted or cease to operate effectively.
We are dependent on our computer systems to record and process transactions and manage and operate our business, including designing, marketing, manufacturing, importing, tracking, and distributing our products, processing payments, accounting for and reporting financial results, and managing our employees and employee benefit programs. In addition, we have digital commerce and other informational websites in North America, Europe, and Asia, including Australia and New Zealand, and have plans for additional digital commerce sites in the future. Given the complexity of our business and the significant number of transactions that we engage in on a daily basis, it is imperative that we maintain uninterrupted operation of our computer hardware and software systems.
Despite our preventative efforts, our systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from, among other things, security breaches, computer viruses, technical malfunctions, inadequate system capacity, power outages, natural disasters, and usage errors by our employees or third-party consultants. If our information technology systems become damaged or otherwise cease to function properly, we may have to make significant investments to repair or replace them. Additionally, confidential or sensitive data related to our customers or employees could be lost or compromised. We are continually improving and upgrading our computer systems and software, which also involves risks and uncertainties. Any disruptions, delays, or deficiencies in the design, implementation, or transition of such systems could result in increased costs, disruptions in the sourcing, sale, and shipment of our product, delays in the collection of cash from our customers, and/or adversely affect our ability to accurately report our financial results in a timely manner. Any material disruptions in our information technology systems could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, and Tax Matters
Our ability to conduct business globally may be affected by a variety of legal, regulatory, political, and economic risks.
Our ability to capitalize on growth in new international markets and to maintain our current level of operations in our existing markets is subject to certain risks associated with operating in various locations around the globe. These include, but are not limited to:
complying with a variety of U.S. and foreign laws and regulations, including, but not limited to, trade, labor, product labeling, and product safety restrictions, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from making improper payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining
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business, and similar foreign country laws, such as the U.K. Bribery Act, which prohibits U.K. and related companies from any form of bribery;
adapting to local customs and culture;
unexpected changes in laws, judicial processes, or regulatory requirements;
the imposition of additional duties, tariffs, taxes, and other charges or other barriers to trade;
changes in diplomatic and trade relationships;
civil and political instability, such as the recent protests in the U.S., and terrorist attacks;
pandemic diseases, such as COVID-19; and
general economic fluctuations in specific countries or markets.
Changes in regulatory, geopolitical, social, economic, or monetary policies and other factors may have a material adverse effect on our business in the future or may require us to exit a particular market or significantly modify our current business practices. For example, in recent years both the U.S. and China have imposed new tariffs on each other related to the importation of certain product categories, including imports of apparel into the U.S. from China. As a result of actions to mitigate our exposure to the resulting tariffs, which have included diverting production to and sourcing from other countries, driving productivity within our existing supplier base, and taking pricing actions, the tariffs enacted to date have not had a material adverse impact on our business operations. However, if the U.S. decides to impose additional tariffs on apparel or other of our goods imported from China, there can be no assurance that we will be able to offset all related increased costs, which could be material to our business operations as approximately 20% of our products are sourced from China. We cannot predict if, and to what extent, there will be changes to international trade agreements or the resulting impact any such changes would have on our business operations, which could be material. For a discussion of risks associated with the importation of products, see "Risks Related to our Business and Operations Our business is subject to risks associated with importing products and the ability of our manufacturers to produce our goods on time and to our specifications."
Our business could also be impacted by changes to the tax laws and regulations in the countries where we operate. For example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (the "OECD"), which represents a coalition of member countries, has proposed changes to numerous long-standing tax principles through its Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, which is focused on a number of issues, including the shifting of profits among affiliated entities located in different tax jurisdictions. In response, certain member countries are beginning to implement legislation to align their international tax rules with the OECD's recommendations, such as Switzerland’s recently enacted Swiss Tax Act, as described in Item 7 — "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Recent Developments." Additionally, the Biden Administration has proposed to increase the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 21% up to as much as 28%, as well as increase U.S. taxation on foreign earnings. Other taxing authorities of certain state, local, and other foreign jurisdictions may also decide to modify existing tax laws. We cannot predict which, if any, of these items or others will be enacted into law or the resulting impact any such enactment will have on our business operations, which could be material.
Additionally, the United Kingdom recently withdrew from the European Union, commonly referred to as "Brexit," whereby it ceased to be a member effective January 31, 2020. In December 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union entered into an agreement that defines their future relationship, including terms of trade, that among its provisions will result in new tariffs on goods imported to the United Kingdom from the European Union that were manufactured elsewhere, as well as require additional administrative effort to import and export goods, adding friction and cost to transportation. The United Kingdom's future relationship with the European Union could also adversely impact consumer and investor confidence, and the level of consumer purchases of discretionary items and luxury retail products, including our products. Although we are closely monitoring the latest Brexit developments, including the December 2020 trade agreement, and are assessing risks and opportunities and developing strategies to mitigate our exposure, Brexit and its resulting impacts to the economy could materially adversely affect our business.
Fluctuations in our tax obligations and effective tax rate may result in volatility of our operating results.
We are subject to income and non-income taxes in many U.S. and certain foreign jurisdictions, with the applicable tax rates varying by jurisdiction. We record tax expense based on our estimates of future payments, which include reserves for uncertain tax positions in multiple tax jurisdictions. At any given time, multiple tax years are subject to audit by various taxing authorities. The results of these audits and negotiations with taxing authorities may affect the ultimate settlement of these issues. As a result, we expect that throughout the year there could be ongoing variability in our quarterly tax rates as events occur and exposures are evaluated. Our effective tax rate in a given financial statement period may also be materially impacted
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by changes in the mix and level of earnings by jurisdiction or by changes to existing accounting rules. Additionally, our products are subject to import and excise duties, and/or sales, consumption, value-added taxes ("VAT"), and other non-income taxes in certain international jurisdictions. Failure to correctly calculate or submit the appropriate amount of income or non-income taxes could subject us to substantial fines and penalties and adversely affect our business.
In addition, the tax laws and regulations in the countries where we operate may change, or there may be changes in interpretation and enforcement of existing tax laws, which could materially affect our income tax expense in our consolidated financial statements. For a discussion of risks related to the potential imposition of additional regulations and laws, see "Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, and Tax Matters Our ability to conduct business globally may be affected by a variety of legal, regulatory, political, and economic risks."
Our business could suffer if we fail to comply with labor laws or if one of our manufacturers fails to use acceptable labor or environmental practices.
We are subject to labor laws governing relationships with employees, including minimum wage requirements, overtime, working conditions, and citizenship requirements. Compliance with these laws may lead to increased costs and operational complexity and may increase our exposure to governmental investigations or litigation.
In addition, we require our licensing partners and independent manufacturers to operate in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. While our internal and vendor operating guidelines promote ethical business practices and our employees periodically visit and monitor the operations of our independent manufacturers, we do not control these manufacturers or their labor practices. The violation of labor, environmental, or other laws by an independent manufacturer used by us or one of our licensing partners, or the divergence of an independent manufacturer's or licensing partner's labor or environmental practices from those generally accepted as ethical or appropriate in the U.S., could interrupt or otherwise disrupt the shipment of finished products to us or damage our reputation. Any of these events, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Certain legal proceedings, regulatory matters, and accounting changes could adversely affect our business.
We are involved in certain legal proceedings and regulatory matters and are subject from time to time to various claims involving alleged breach of contract claims, intellectual property and other related claims, escheatment and unclaimed property, credit card fraud, security breaches in certain of our retail store information systems, employment issues, consumer matters, and other litigation. Certain of these lawsuits and claims, if decided adversely to us or settled by us, could result in material liability to our Company or have a negative impact on our reputation or relations with our employees, customers, licensing partners, or other third parties. Other potential claimants may also be encouraged to bring suits against us based on a settlement from us or adverse court decision against us for similar claims or allegations as their own. In addition, regardless of the outcome of any litigation or regulatory proceedings, such proceedings could result in substantial costs and may require our Company to devote substantial time and resources to defend itself. Further, changes in governmental regulations both in the U.S. and in other countries where we conduct business operations could have an adverse impact on our business. See Item 3 — "Legal Proceedings" for further discussion of our Company's legal matters.
In addition, we are subject to changes in accounting rules and interpretations issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other regulatory agencies. If and when effective, such changes to accounting standards could have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements. See Note 4 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for a discussion of certain recently issued accounting standards.

Risks Related to our Common Stock

The trading prices of our securities periodically may rise or fall based on the accuracy of predictions of our earnings or other financial performance, including our ability to return value to shareholders.
Our business planning process is designed to maximize our long-term strength, growth, and profitability, and not to achieve an earnings target in any particular fiscal quarter. We believe that this longer-term focus is in the best interests of our Company and our stockholders. However, we also recognize that, from time to time, it may be helpful to provide investors with guidance as to our quarterly and annual forecast of net sales and earnings. While we generally expect to provide updates to our guidance when we report our results each fiscal quarter, we do not have any responsibility to update any of our guidance or other forward-looking statements at such times or otherwise. In addition, any longer-term guidance that we provide is based on goals that we believe, at the time guidance is given, are reasonably attainable. However, such long-range targets are more difficult to predict than our current quarter and full fiscal year expectations. Additionally, external analysts and investors may publish their own independent predictions of our future performance. We do not endorse such predictions or assume any
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responsibility to correct such predictions when they differ from our own expectations. If, or when, we announce actual results that differ from those that have been predicted by us, outside analysts, or others, the market price of our securities could be adversely affected. Investors who rely on these predictions when making investment decisions with respect to our securities do so at their own risk. We take no responsibility for any losses suffered as a result of such changes in the prices of our securities.
In addition, we have historically returned value to shareholders through our payment of quarterly cash dividends and common stock share repurchases. Investors may have an expectation that we will continue to pay quarterly cash dividends, further increase our cash dividend rate, and/or repurchase shares available under our Class A common stock repurchase program. Our ability to pay quarterly cash dividends and repurchase our Class A common stock will depend on our ability to generate sufficient cash flows from operations in the future. This ability may be subject to certain economic, financial, competitive, and other factors that are beyond our control, such as impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in us temporarily suspending our quarterly cash dividend and share repurchases, effective beginning in the first quarter of Fiscal 2021. Further, our Board of Directors may, at its discretion, elect to suspend or otherwise alter these programs at any time. The market price of our securities could be adversely affected if our cash dividend payments and/or Class A common stock share repurchase activity differ from investors' expectations.
The voting shares of our Company's stock are concentrated in one majority stockholder.
As of March 27, 2021, Mr. Ralph Lauren, or entities controlled by the Lauren family, held approximately 84% of the voting power of the outstanding common stock of our Company. In addition, Mr. R. Lauren serves as our Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Mr. R. Lauren's son, Mr. David Lauren, serves as our Chief Innovation Officer, Strategic Advisor to the CEO, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, and we employ other members of the Lauren family. From time to time, we may have other business dealings with Mr. R. Lauren, members of the Lauren family, or entities affiliated with Mr. R. Lauren or the Lauren family. As a result of his stock ownership and position in our Company, Mr. R. Lauren has the ability to exercise significant control over our business, including, without limitation, (i) the election of our Class B common stock directors, voting separately as a class and (ii) any action requiring the approval of our stockholders, including the adoption of amendments to our certificate of incorporation and the approval of mergers or sales of all or substantially all of our assets.
Item 1B.    Unresolved Staff Comments.
Not applicable.
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Item 2.    Properties.
We lease space for our retail stores, showrooms, warehouses, and offices in various domestic and international locations. We do not own any real property except for our retail digital commerce call center and distribution facility in High Point, North Carolina; and our retail stores in Southampton and Easthampton, New York, and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
We believe that our existing facilities are well maintained, in good operating condition, and are adequate for our present level of operations.
The following table sets forth information relating to our principal properties as of March 27, 2021:
LocationUseApproximate
Square Feet
NC Highway 66, High Point, NCWholesale and retail distribution facility847,000
N. Pendleton Street, High Point, NCRetail digital commerce call center and distribution facility 805,000
Greensboro, NCWholesale and retail distribution facility337,700
650 Madison Avenue, NYCExecutive and corporate offices, design studio, and showrooms273,200
601 West 26th Street, NYCCorporate offices263,000
Nutley, NJCorporate and retail administrative offices and showrooms255,000
Geneva, SwitzerlandEuropean corporate offices96,100
Spinners Building, Hong KongAsia sourcing offices67,000
Gateway Office, Hong KongAsia corporate offices37,500
888 Madison Avenue, NYCRetail flagship store37,900
N. Michigan Avenue, ChicagoRetail flagship store37,500
New Bond Street, London, UKRetail flagship store31,500
867 Madison Avenue, NYCRetail flagship store27,700
Paris, FranceRetail flagship store25,700
Tokyo, JapanRetail flagship store25,000
N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly HillsRetail flagship store19,400
Prince's Building, Hong KongRetail flagship store9,800
As of March 27, 2021, we directly operated 548 retail stores, totaling approximately 4.2 million square feet. We anticipate that we will be able to extend our retail store leases, as well as those leases for our non-retail facilities, which expire in the near future on satisfactory terms or relocate to desirable alternate locations. We generally lease our freestanding retail stores for initial periods ranging from 3 to 15 years, with renewal options. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to our Business and Operations — Our business is subject to risks associated with leasing real estate and other assets under long-term, non-cancellable leases."
Item 3.    Legal Proceedings.
We are involved, from time to time, in litigation, other legal claims, and proceedings involving matters associated with or incidental to our business, including, among other things, matters involving credit card fraud, trademark and other intellectual property, licensing, importation and exportation of products, taxation, unclaimed property, and employee relations. We believe at present that the resolution of currently pending matters will not individually or in the aggregate have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial statements. However, our assessment of any current litigation or other legal claims could potentially change in light of the discovery of facts not presently known or determinations by judges, juries, or other finders of fact which are not in accord with management's evaluation of the possible liability or outcome of such litigation or claims.
Item 4.    Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5.    Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
As of May 14, 2021, there were 649 holders of record of our Class A common stock and 8 holders of record of our Class B common stock. Our Class A common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the symbol "RL." All of our outstanding shares of Class B common stock are owned by Mr. Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, and entities controlled by the Lauren family. Shares of our Class B common stock may be converted immediately into Class A common stock on a one-for-one basis by the holder. There is no cash or other consideration paid by the holder converting the shares and, accordingly, there is no cash or other consideration received by the Company. The shares of Class A common stock issued by the Company in such conversions are exempt from registration pursuant to Section 3(a)(9) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. No shares of our Class B common stock were converted into Class A common stock during the fiscal quarter ended March 27, 2021.
The following table sets forth repurchases of shares of our Class A common stock during the fiscal quarter ended March 27, 2021:
Total Number of Shares Purchased(a)
Average
Price
Paid per
Share
Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Programs
Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares
That May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs(b)
   (millions)
December 27, 2020 to January 23, 20218,399 $102.00 — $580 
January 24, 2021 to February 20, 2021— — — 580 
February 21, 2021 to March 27, 20216,212 

115.02 — 580 
14,611 — 
(a)    Represents shares surrendered to or withheld by the Company in satisfaction of withholding taxes in connection with the vesting of awards issued under its long-term stock incentive plans.
(b)    As of March 27, 2021, the remaining availability under our Class A common stock repurchase program was approximately $580 million, reflecting the May 13, 2019 approval by our Board of Directors to expand the program by up to an additional $600 million of Class A common stock repurchases. Repurchases of shares of Class A common stock are subject to overall business and market conditions. Accordingly, as a result of business disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily suspended our common stock repurchase program as a preemptive action to preserve cash and strengthen our liquidity.
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The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return (stock price appreciation plus dividends) on our Class A common stock to the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and a peer group index of companies that we believe are closest to ours (the "Peer Group") for the period from April 2, 2016, the last day of our 2016 fiscal year, through March 27, 2021, the last day of our 2021 fiscal year. Our Peer Group consists of Burberry Group PLC, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, EssilorLuxottica SA, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Hermes International, Kering, LVMH, PVH Corp., Tapestry, Inc., Tod's S.p.A., and V.F. Corporation. All calculations for foreign companies in our Peer Group are performed using the local foreign issue of such companies. The returns are calculated by assuming a $100 investment made on April 2, 2016 in Class A common stock or March 31, 2016 in an index, with all dividends reinvested.
COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN
Among Ralph Lauren Corporation, the S&P 500 Index, and a Peer Group
https://cdn.kscope.io/0aec1ad64670e287f2bfad5f0bf4dbca-rl-20210327_g2.jpg
Item 6.    Selected Financial Data
Not applicable as the Company has adopted certain provisions within the amendments to Regulation S-K, including the elimination of Item 301.
Item 7.    Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations ("MD&A") should be read together with our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto, which are included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We utilize a 52-53 week fiscal year ending on the Saturday immediately before or after March 31. As such, Fiscal 2021 ended on March 27, 2021 and was a 52-week period; Fiscal 2020 ended on March 28, 2020 and was a 52-week period; Fiscal 2019 ended on March 30, 2019 and was a 52-week period; and Fiscal 2022 will end on April 2, 2022 and will be a 53-week period.
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INTRODUCTION
MD&A is provided as a supplement to the accompanying consolidated financial statements and notes thereto to help provide an understanding of our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity. MD&A is organized as follows:
Overview.    This section provides a general description of our business, global economic conditions and industry trends, and a summary of our financial performance for Fiscal 2021. In addition, this section includes a discussion of recent developments and transactions affecting comparability that we believe are important in understanding our results of operations and financial condition, and in anticipating future trends.
Results of operations.    This section provides an analysis of our results of operations for Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 as compared to the respective prior fiscal year.
Financial condition and liquidity.    This section provides a discussion of our financial condition and liquidity as of March 27, 2021, which includes (i) an analysis of our financial condition as compared to the prior fiscal year-end; (ii) an analysis of changes in our cash flows for Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 as compared to the respective prior fiscal year; (iii) an analysis of our liquidity, including the availability under our commercial paper borrowing program and credit facilities, our outstanding debt and covenant compliance, common stock repurchases, and payments of dividends; and (iv) a summary of our contractual and other obligations as of March 27, 2021.
Market risk management.    This section discusses how we manage our risk exposures related to foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, and our investments as of March 27, 2021.
Critical accounting policies.    This section discusses accounting policies considered to be important to our results of operations and financial condition, which typically require significant judgment and estimation on the part of management in their application. In addition, all of our significant accounting policies, including our critical accounting policies, are summarized in Note 3 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Recently issued accounting standards.    This section discusses the potential impact on our reported results of operations and financial condition of certain accounting standards that have been recently issued.
OVERVIEW
Our Business
Our Company is a global leader in the design, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishings, fragrances, and hospitality. Our long-standing reputation and distinctive image have been developed across an expanding number of products, brands, sales channels, and international markets. Our brand names include Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children, Chaps, and Club Monaco, among others.
We diversify our business by geography (North America, Europe, and Asia, among other regions) and channel of distribution (retail, wholesale, and licensing). This allows us to maintain a dynamic balance as our operating results do not depend solely on the performance of any single geographic area or channel of distribution. We sell directly to consumers through our integrated retail channel, which includes our retail stores, concession-based shop-within-shops, and digital commerce operations around the world. Our wholesale sales are made principally to major department stores, specialty stores, and third-party digital partners around the world, as well as to certain third-party-owned stores to which we have licensed the right to operate in defined geographic territories using our trademarks. In addition, we license to third parties for specified periods the right to access our various trademarks in connection with the licensees' manufacture and sale of designated products, such as certain apparel, eyewear, fragrances, and home furnishings.
We organize our business into the following three reportable segments:
North America — Our North America segment, representing approximately 45% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in the U.S. and Canada, excluding Club Monaco. In North America, our retail business is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, and our digital commerce site, www.RalphLauren.com. Our wholesale business in North America is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, and to a lesser extent, specialty stores.
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Europe — Our Europe segment, representing approximately 27% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, excluding Club Monaco. In Europe, our retail business is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, our concession-based shop-within-shops, and our various digital commerce sites. Our wholesale business in Europe is comprised of a varying mix of sales to both department stores and specialty stores, depending on the country, as well as to various third-party digital partners.
Asia — Our Asia segment, representing approximately 23% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, primarily consists of sales of our Ralph Lauren branded products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Our retail business in Asia is primarily comprised of our Ralph Lauren stores, our factory stores, our concession-based shop-within-shops, and our various digital commerce sites. In addition, we sell our products online through various third-party digital partner commerce sites. Our wholesale business in Asia is comprised primarily of sales to department stores, with related products distributed through shop-within-shops.
No operating segments were aggregated to form our reportable segments. In addition to these reportable segments, we also have other non-reportable segments, representing approximately 5% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues, which primarily consist of (i) sales of Club Monaco branded products made through our retail and wholesale businesses in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and our licensing alliances in Europe and Asia, and (ii) royalty revenues earned through our global licensing alliances, excluding Club Monaco. As discussed in "Recent Developments," on May 13, 2021, we announced the anticipated sale of our Club Monaco business, which is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
Approximately 52% of our Fiscal 2021 net revenues were earned outside of the U.S. See Note 20 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our segment reporting structure.
Our business is typically affected by seasonal trends, with higher levels of retail sales in our second and third fiscal quarters and higher wholesale sales in our second and fourth fiscal quarters. These trends result primarily from the timing of key vacation travel, back-to-school, and holiday shopping periods impacting our retail business and timing of seasonal wholesale shipments. As a result of changes in our business, consumer spending patterns, and the macroeconomic environment, including those resulting from pandemic diseases and other catastrophic events, historical quarterly operating trends and working capital requirements may not be indicative of our future performance. In addition, fluctuations in sales, operating income, and cash flows in any fiscal quarter may be affected by other events affecting retail sales, such as changes in weather patterns.
Recent Developments
COVID-19 Pandemic
Beginning in the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020, a novel strain of coronavirus commonly referred to as COVID-19 emerged and spread rapidly across the globe, including throughout all major geographies in which we operate (North America, Europe, and Asia), resulting in adverse economic conditions and business disruptions, as well as significant volatility in global financial markets. Governments worldwide have imposed varying degrees of preventative and protective actions, such as temporary travel bans, forced business closures, and stay-at-home orders, all in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Such factors, among others, have resulted in a significant decline in retail traffic, tourism, and consumer spending on discretionary items. Additionally, during this period of uncertainty, companies across a wide array of industries have implemented various initiatives to reduce operating expenses and preserve cash balances, including work furloughs, reduced pay, and severance actions, which could lower consumers' disposable income levels or willingness to purchase discretionary items. Further, even after such government restrictions and company initiatives are lifted, consumer behavior, spending levels, and/or shopping preferences, such as willingness to congregate in indoor shopping centers or other populated locations, could be adversely affected.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have experienced varying degrees of business disruptions and periods of closure of our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities, as have our wholesale customers, licensing partners, suppliers, and vendors. During the first quarter of Fiscal 2021, the majority of our stores in key markets were closed for an average of 8 to 10 weeks due to government-mandated lockdowns and other restrictions, resulting in significant adverse impacts to our operating results. Resurgences in certain parts of the world resulted in further business disruptions periodically throughout Fiscal 2021, most notably in Europe where a significant number of our stores were closed for approximately two to three months during the second half of Fiscal 2021, including during the holiday period, due to government-mandated lockdowns and other restrictions. Such disruptions have continued into the first quarter of Fiscal 2022, impacting not only our businesses in Europe but also in other regions of the world (notably our retail operations in Japan and our sourcing operations in
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India). Further, the majority of our stores that are able to remain open have periodically been subject to limited operating hours and/or customer capacity levels in accordance with local health guidelines, with traffic remaining challenged. Our wholesale and licensing businesses have also been adversely affected, particularly in North America and Europe, as a result of store closures and lower traffic and consumer demand.
Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, customers, and the communities in which we operate around the world. We continue to consider the guidance of local governments and global health organizations and have implemented new health and safety protocols in our stores, distribution centers, and corporate facilities. We have also taken various preemptive actions to preserve cash and strengthen our liquidity position, including:
amending our Global Credit Facility in May 2020 to temporarily waive our leverage ratio requirement (see Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
issuing $1.250 billion of unsecured senior notes in June 2020, the proceeds of which are being used for general corporate purposes, including repayment of certain of our previously outstanding borrowings (see Note 11 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
temporarily suspending our quarterly cash dividend and common stock repurchase program, effective beginning in the first quarter of Fiscal 2021 (see Note 16 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements);
temporarily reducing the base compensation of our executives and senior management team, as well as our Board of Directors, for the first quarter of Fiscal 2021;
furloughing or reducing work hours for a significant portion of our employees during the first half of Fiscal 2021;
carefully managing our expense structure across all key areas of spend, including aligning inventory levels with anticipated demand, negotiating rent abatements with certain of our landlords, and postponing non-critical capital build-out and other investments and activities;
pursuing relevant government subsidy programs related to COVID-19 business disruptions; and
improving upon our cash conversion cycle largely driven by our accounts receivable collection efforts and extended vendor payment terms.
Despite the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, the pandemic remains highly volatile and continues to evolve. Accordingly, we cannot predict for how long and to what extent the pandemic will impact our business operations or the global economy as a whole. We will continue to assess our operations location-by-location, considering the guidance of local governments and global health organizations to determine when our operations can begin returning to normal levels of business. See Item 1A — "Risk Factors Risks Related to Macroeconomic Conditions  Infectious disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, could have a material adverse effect on our business" for additional discussion regarding risks to our business associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fiscal 2021 Strategic Realignment Plan
We have begun efforts to realign our resources to support future growth and profitability, and to create a sustainable cost structure. The key areas of our evaluation include our: (i) team organizational structures and ways of working; (ii) real estate footprint and related costs across corporate offices, distribution centers, and direct-to-consumer retail and wholesale doors; and (iii) brand portfolio.
In connection with the first initiative, on September 17, 2020, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan (the "Fiscal 2021 Strategic Realignment Plan") to reduce our global workforce by the end of Fiscal 2021. Additionally, during our preliminary review of our store portfolio during the second quarter of Fiscal 2021, we made the decision to close our Polo store on Regent Street in London.
On October 29, 2020, we announced the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model, consistent with our long-term brand elevation strategy in connection with our third initiative (see "Transition of Chaps Brand to a Licensing Model" further below for additional discussion).
Additionally, on February 3, 2021, our Board of Directors approved additional realignment actions related to our real estate initiative. Specifically, we plan to further rightsize and consolidate our global corporate offices to better align with our
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current organizational profile and new ways of working. We also expect to close certain of our stores to improve overall profitability. Additionally, we plan to complete the consolidation of our existing North America distribution centers in order to drive greater efficiencies, improve sustainability, and deliver a better consumer experience.
Finally, on May 13, 2021, in connection with our brand portfolio initiative, we announced that we have entered into an agreement to sell our Club Monaco business to Regent, L.P., a global private equity firm. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2022.
In connection with these collective realignment initiatives, we expect to incur total estimated pre-tax charges of approximately $300 million to $350 million, of which $236.8 million was recorded during Fiscal 2021. Once substantially completed by the end of Fiscal 2022, these actions are expected to result in gross annualized pre-tax expense savings of approximately $200 million to $240 million, a portion of which will be reinvested back into the business. These estimated charges and expense savings are subject to change based upon the completion of the sale of our Club Monaco business.
See Note 9 to our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding charges recorded in connection with the Fiscal 2021 Strategic Restructuring Plan.
Transition of Chaps Brand to a Fully Licensed Business Model
On October 29, 2020, we announced the planned transition of our Chaps brand to a fully licensed business model, consistent with our long-term brand elevation strategy. Specifically, we have entered into a multi-year licensing partnership, taking effect on August 1, 2021 after a transition period, with an affiliate of 5 Star Apparel LLC, a division of the OVED Group, to manufacture, market, and distribute Chaps menswear and womenswear. The products will be sold at existing channels of distribution with opportunities for expansion into additional channels and markets globally.
This agreement is expected to create incremental value for the Company by enabling an even greater focus on elevating our core brands in the marketplace, reducing our direct exposure to the North America department store channel, and setting up Chaps to deliver on its potential with an experienced partner that is focused on nurturing the brand.
Swiss Tax Reform
In May 2019, a public referendum was held in Switzerland that approved the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (the "Swiss Tax Act"), which became effective January 1, 2020. The Swiss Tax Act eliminates certain preferential tax items at both the federal and cantonal levels for multinational companies and provides the cantons with parameters for establishing local tax rates and regulations. The Swiss Tax Act also provides transitional provisions, one of which allows eligible companies to increase the tax basis of certain assets based on the value generated by their business in previous years, and to amortize such adjustment as a tax deduction over a transitional period.
In connection with this transitional provision, we recorded a one-time income tax benefit and corresponding deferred tax asset of $122.9 million during Fiscal 2020, which reduced our effective tax rate by 3,760 basis points. Subsequently, during Fiscal 2021, we reduced this one-time tax benefit by $13.8 million due to new legislation enacted in connection with the European Union's anti-tax avoidance directive, which increased our effective rate by 1,840 basis points.
See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding the Swiss Tax Act.
Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan
On June 4, 2018, our Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan associated with our strategic objective of operating with discipline to drive sustainable growth (the "Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan"). The Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan included the following activities: (i) rightsizing and consolidation of our global distribution network and corporate offices; (ii) targeted severance-related actions; and (iii) closure of certain of our stores and shop-within-shops. Actions associated with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan resulted in gross annualized expense savings of approximately $80 million.
In connection with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan, we have recorded cumulative charges of $145.8 million since its inception, of which $48.5 million and $97.3 million were recorded during Fiscal 2020 and Fiscal 2019, respectively. Actions associated with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan are complete and no additional charges are expected to be incurred in connection with this plan.
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See Note 9 to our accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding charges recorded in connection with the Fiscal 2019 Restructuring Plan.
U.S. Tax Reform
In January 2018, new U.S. tax legislation commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJA") became effective. The TCJA significantly revised U.S. tax law by, among other provisions, lowering the U.S. federal statutory income tax rate from 35% to 21%, creating a territorial tax system that includes a one-time mandatory transition tax on previously deferred foreign earnings, and eliminating or reducing certain income tax deductions.
During our fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 ("Fiscal 2018"), we recorded net charges of $221.4 million within our income tax provision in connection with the TCJA. Subsequently, during Fiscal 2019, we recorded net unfavorable measurement period adjustments of $27.6 million as permitted by SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118. These measurement period adjustments increased our effective tax rate by 470 basis points during Fiscal 2019.
See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for additional discussion regarding the TCJA.
Global Economic Conditions and Industry Trends
The global economy and retail industry are impacted by many different factors. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in heightened uncertainty surrounding the future state of the global economy, as well as significant volatility in global financial markets. As discussed in "Recent Developments," governments worldwide have imposed varying degrees of preventative and protective actions, such as temporary travel bans, forced business closures, and stay-at-home orders, all in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Such actions, together with changes in consumers' willingness to congregate in populated areas and lower levels of disposal income due to high unemployment rates, have resulted in significant business disruptions across a wide array of industries and an overall decline of the global economy. Despite the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, it is not clear at this time how much longer the pandemic will last.
The global economy has also been impacted by the domestic and international political environment, including volatile international trade relations and civil and political unrest taking place in certain parts of the world. The U.S. in particular has experienced civil unrest centered around racial inequality and political allegiances. Additionally, the United Kingdom recently withdrew from the European Union, commonly referred to as "Brexit," whereby it ceased to be a member effective January 31, 2020. In December 2020, the United Kingdom and the European Union entered into an agreement that defines their future relationship, including terms of trade, that among its provisions will result in new tariffs on goods imported to the United Kingdom from the European Union that were manufactured elsewhere, as well as require additional administrative effort to import and export goods, adding friction and cost to transportation. Further, certain other worldwide events, including diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and China, acts of terrorism, taxation or monetary policy changes, fluctuations in commodity prices, and rising healthcare costs, also increase volatility in the global economy.
The retail landscape in which we operate has been significantly disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including widespread temporary closures of stores and distribution centers and declines in retail traffic, tourism, and consumer spending on discretionary items. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers had been increasingly shifting their shopping preference from physical stores to online. This shift in preference has accelerated during the pandemic and could be further amplified in the future as consumers may continue to prefer to avoid populated locations, such as shopping centers, in fear of exposing themselves to infectious diseases. Even before the pandemic, many retailers, including certain of our large wholesale customers, have been highly promotional and have aggressively marked down their merchandise on a periodic basis in an attempt to offset declines in physical store traffic. The retail industry, particularly in the U.S., has also experienced numerous bankruptcies, restructurings, and ownership changes in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic could exacerbate these trends if companies do not have adequate financial resources and/or access to additional capital to withstand prolonged periods of adverse economic conditions. The continuation of these industry trends could further impact consumer spending and consumption behavior in our industry, which could have a material adverse effect on our business or operating results.
We have implemented various strategies globally to help address many of these current challenges and continue to build a foundation for long-term profitable growth centered around strengthening our consumer-facing areas of product, stores, and marketing across channels and driving a more efficient operating model. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken preemptive actions to preserve cash and strengthen our liquidity position, as described in "Recent Developments." Investing in our digital ecosystem remains a primary focus and is a key component of our integrated global omni-channel strategy, particularly in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has and could continue to reshape consumer shopping preferences. We continue to expand our offering of Connected Retailing capabilities to enhance the consumer experience,
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which now include virtual clienteling, Buy Online-Ship to Store, Buy Online-Pick Up in Store, curbside pickup, appointment scheduling, and mobile checkout and contactless payments. Further, during Fiscal 2021, we launched new digital flagships in Japan and Hong Kong, as well as our first subscription apparel rental service, the Lauren Look. We also continue to take deliberate actions to ensure promotional consistency across channels and to enhance the overall brand and shopping experience, including better aligning shipments and inventory levels with underlying demand. We also remain committed to optimizing our wholesale distribution channel and enhancing our department store consumer experience. We are closely monitoring the latest Brexit developments, including the December 2020 trade agreement, and are assessing risks and opportunities and developing strategies to mitigate our exposure.
We will continue to monitor these conditions and trends and will evaluate and adjust our operating strategies and foreign currency and cost management opportunities to help mitigate the related impacts on our results of operations, while remaining focused on the long-term growth of our business and protecting and elevating the value of our brand.
For a detailed discussion of significant risk factors that have the potential to cause our actual results to differ materially from our expectations, see Part I, Item 1A — "Risk Factors" included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Summary of Financial Performance
Operating Results
In Fiscal 2021, we reported net revenues of $4.401 billion, a net loss of $121.1 million, and net loss per diluted share of $1.65, as compared to net revenues of $6.160 billion, net income of $384.3 million, and net income per diluted share of $4.98 in Fiscal 2020. The comparability of our operating results has been affected by net adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions, as well as restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other benefits (charges), including one-time income tax events, as discussed further below.
Our operating performance for Fiscal 2021 reflected revenue declines of 28.6% on a reported basis and 29.9% on a constant currency basis, as defined within "Transactions and Trends Affecting Comparability of Results of Operations and Financial Condition" below. The decrease in net revenues during Fiscal 2021 was largely due to declines in North America and Europe driven by COVID-19 business disruptions.
Our gross profit as a percentage of net revenues increased by 570 basis points to 65.0% during Fiscal 2021, primarily driven by improved pricing and lower levels of promotional activity, lower non-routine inventory charges, and favorable geographic and channel mix.
Selling, general, and administrative ("SG&A") expenses as a percentage of net revenues increased by 740 basis points to 60.0% during Fiscal 2021, primarily driven by operating deleverage on lower net revenues, partially offset by expense savings across various categories.
Net income decreased by $505.4 million to a net loss of $121.1 million in Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, primarily due to a $360.6 million decline in operating income driven by COVID-19 business disruptions, a $104.2 million increase in our income tax provision, and higher non-operating expense, net. Net income per diluted share decreased by $6.63 to a net loss of $1.65 per share in Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, due to the lower level of net income.
Our operating results during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 included net restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other charges totaling $254.4 million and $321.8 million, respectively, which had an after-tax effect of reducing net income by $201.5 million, or $2.71 per diluted share, and $244.8 million, or $3.17 per diluted share, respectively. Net income (loss) during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 also reflected $46.6 million of incremental net tax expense and an income tax benefit of $122.9 million, respectively, recorded in connection with one-time income tax events.
Financial Condition and Liquidity
We ended Fiscal 2021 in a net cash and investments position (cash and cash equivalents plus investments, less total debt) of $1.144 billion, compared to $945.3 million as of the end of Fiscal 2020. The increase in our net cash and investments position was primarily due to our operating cash flows of $380.9 million, partially offset by our use of cash to invest in our business through $107.8 million in capital expenditures, to make dividend payments of $49.8 million (which had been previously declared during the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2020), and to support Class A common stock repurchases of $37.7 million, representing withholdings in satisfaction of tax obligations for stock-based compensation awards.
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We generated $380.9 million of cash from operations during Fiscal 2021, compared to $754.6 million during Fiscal 2020. The decline in cash provided by operating activities was due to a decrease in net income before non-cash charges, partially offset by a net favorable change related to our operating assets and liabilities, including our working capital, as compared to the prior fiscal year period.
Our equity decreased to $2.604 billion as of March 27, 2021, compared to $2.693 billion as of March 28, 2020, primarily due to our comprehensive loss and shares surrendered for tax withholdings, partially offset by the impact of stock-based compensation arrangements during Fiscal 2021.
Transactions and Trends Affecting Comparability of Results of Operations and Financial Condition
The comparability of our operating results for the three fiscal years presented herein has been affected by certain events, including:
pretax charges incurred in connection with our restructuring activities, as well as certain other asset impairments and other benefits (charges), including those related to COVID-19 business disruptions, as summarized below (references to "Notes" are to the notes to the accompanying consolidated financial statements):
 Fiscal Years Ended
 March 27,
2021
March 28,
2020
March 30,
2019
 (millions)
Restructuring and other charges (see Note 9)$(170.5)$(67.2)$(130.1)
Impairment of assets (see Note 8)(a)
(96.0)(38.7)(25.8)
Non-routine inventory charges(b)
(29.3)(159.5)(7.2)
COVID-19-related bad debt reversals (expense)(c)
41.4 (56.4)— 
Total charges$(254.4)$(321.8)$(163.1)
 
(a)Fiscal 2020 includes a $7.1 million impairment of an equity method investment recorded within other income (expense), net in the consolidated statements of operations. All other impairment charges were recorded within impairment of assets in the consolidated statements of operations.
(b)Non-routine inventory charges are recorded within cost of goods sold in the consolidated statements of operations. Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 includes non-routine inventory charges of $21.0 million and $157.3 million, respectively, related to adverse impacts associated with COVID-19 business disruptions. All other non-routine inventory charges related to our restructuring plans (see Note 9).
(c)COVID-19-related bad debt reversals (expense) are recorded within SG&A expenses in the consolidated statements of operations.
other adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020;
adverse impacts related to Hong Kong protest business disruptions during Fiscal 2020;
incremental net tax expense of $46.6 million recorded within our income tax provision during Fiscal 2021 related to a valuation allowance provided against domestic losses attributable to COVID-19 business disruptions, international tax legislation enacted in connection with the European Union’s anti-tax avoidance directive, and a net operating loss carryback under the CARES Act, which collectively negatively impacted our effective tax rate by 6,230 basis points;
a one-time benefit of $122.9 million recorded within our income tax provision in the consolidated statements of operations during Fiscal 2020 in connection with the Swiss Tax Act, which reduced our effective tax rate by 3,760 basis points. During Fiscal 2021, we reduced this one-time tax benefit by $13.8 million due to new legislation enacted, which increased the Company's effective tax rate by 1,840 basis points. See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further discussion; and
TCJA enactment-related charges of $27.6 million recorded within the income tax provision in the consolidated statements of operations during Fiscal 2019, which increased our effective tax rate by 470 basis points. See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further discussion.
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Because we are a global company, the comparability of our operating results reported in U.S. Dollars is also affected by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations because the underlying currencies in which we transact change in value over time compared to the U.S. Dollar. Such fluctuations can have a significant effect on our reported results. As such, in addition to financial measures prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. ("U.S. GAAP"), our discussions often contain references to constant currency measures, which are calculated by translating current-year and prior-year reported amounts into comparable amounts using a single foreign exchange rate for each currency. We present constant currency financial information, which is a non-U.S. GAAP financial measure, as a supplement to our reported operating results. We use constant currency information to provide a framework for assessing how our businesses performed excluding the effects of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. We believe this information is useful to investors for facilitating comparisons of operating results and better identifying trends in our businesses. The constant currency performance measures should be viewed in addition to, and not in lieu of or superior to, our operating performance measures calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Reconciliations between this non-U.S. GAAP financial measure and the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measure are included in the "Results of Operations" section where applicable.
Our discussion also includes reference to comparable store sales. Comparable store sales refer to the change in sales of our stores that have been open for at least 13 full fiscal months. Sales from our digital commerce sites are also included within comparable sales for those geographies that have been serviced by the related site for at least 13 full fiscal months. Sales for stores or digital commerce sites that are closed or shut down during the year are excluded from the calculation of comparable store sales. Sales for stores that are either relocated, enlarged (as defined by gross square footage expansion of 25% or greater), or generally closed for 30 or more consecutive days for renovation are also excluded from the calculation of comparable store sales until such stores have been operating in their new location or in their newly renovated state for at least 13 full fiscal months. All comparable store sales metrics are calculated on a constant currency basis.
Our "Results of Operations" discussion that follows includes the significant changes in operating results arising from these items affecting comparability. However, unusual items or transactions may occur in any period. Accordingly, investors and other financial statement users should consider the types of events and transactions that have affected operating trends.
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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Fiscal 2021 Compared to Fiscal 2020
The following table summarizes our results of operations and expresses the percentage relationship to net revenues of certain financial statement captions. All percentages shown in the below table and the discussion that follows have been calculated using unrounded numbers.
 Fiscal Years Ended  
 March 27,
2021
March 28,
2020
$
Change
% / bps
Change
 (millions, except per share data) 
Net revenues
$4,400.8 $6,159.8 $(1,759.0)(28.6 %)
Cost of goods sold(1,539.4)(2,506.5)967.1 (38.6 %)
Gross profit
2,861.4 3,653.3 (791.9)(21.7 %)
Gross profit as % of net revenues65.0 %59.3 %570 bps
Selling, general, and administrative expenses(2,638.5)(3,237.5)599.0 (18.5 %)
SG&A expenses as % of net revenues60.0 %52.6 %740 bps
Impairment of assets(96.0)(31.6)(64.4)203.5 %
Restructuring and other charges(170.5)(67.2)(103.3)153.9 %
Operating income (loss)
(43.6)317.0 (360.6)NM
Operating income (loss) as % of net revenues(1.0 %)5.1 %(610 bps)
Interest expense(48.5)(17.6)(30.9)175.9 %
Interest income9.7 34.4 (24.7)(71.8 %)
Other income (expense), net7.6 (7.4)15.0 NM
Income (loss) before income taxes
(74.8)326.4 (401.2)NM
Income tax benefit (provision)(46.3)57.9 (104.2)NM
Effective tax rate(a)
(61.9 %)(17.7 %)(4,420 bps)
Net income (loss)
$(121.1)$384.3 $(505.4)NM
Net income (loss) per common share:
Basic
$(1.65)$5.07 $(6.72)NM
  Diluted
$(1.65)$4.98 $(6.63)NM
(a)Effective tax rate is calculated by dividing the income tax benefit (provision) by income (loss) before income taxes.
NM Not meaningful.
Net Revenues.    Net revenues decreased by $1.759 billion, or 28.6%, to $4.401 billion in Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, including net favorable foreign currency effects of $80.7 million. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $1.840 billion, or 29.9%.
The following table summarizes the percentage change in our Fiscal 2021 consolidated comparable store sales as compared to the prior fiscal year, inclusive of adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions:
 % Change
Digital commerce comparable store sales20 %
Comparable store sales excluding digital commerce(36 %)
Total comparable store sales(29 %)
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Our global average store count increased by 20 stores and concession shops during Fiscal 2021 compared with the prior fiscal year, largely driven by new openings in Asia. The following table details our retail store presence by segment as of the periods presented:
 March 27,
2021
March 28,
2020
Freestanding Stores:
North America233 230 
Europe92 94 
Asia151 132 
Other non-reportable segments72 74 
Total freestanding stores548 530 
Concession Shops:
North America
Europe29 29 
Asia616 619 
Other non-reportable segments
Total concession shops650 654 
Total stores1,198 1,184 
In addition to our stores, we sell products online in North America, Europe, and Asia through our various digital commerce sites, as well as through our Polo mobile app in North America and the United Kingdom. We also sell products online through various third-party digital partner commerce sites, primarily in Asia.
Net revenues for our segments, as well as a discussion of the changes in each reportable segment's net revenues from the prior fiscal year, are provided below:
 Fiscal Years Ended$ ChangeForeign Exchange Impact$ Change% Change
 March 27,
2021
March 28,
2020
As
Reported
Constant CurrencyAs
Reported
Constant
Currency
 (millions) 
Net Revenues:
North America$1,992.4 $3,140.5 $(1,148.1)$— $(1,148.1)(36.6 %)(36.6 %)
Europe1,165.9 1,632.2 (466.3)52.1 (518.4)(28.6 %)(31.8 %)
Asia1,027.5 1,017.2 10.3 28.5 (18.2)1.0 %(1.8 %)
Other non-reportable segments215.0 369.9 (154.9)0.1 (155.0)(41.9 %)(41.9 %)
Total net revenues$4,400.8 $6,159.8 $(1,759.0)$80.7 $(1,839.7)(28.6 %)(29.9 %)
North America net revenues — Net revenues decreased by $1.148 billion, or 36.6%, during Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, on both a reported and constant currency basis.
The $1.148 billion net decline in North America net revenues was driven by:
a $634.9 million net decrease related to our North America wholesale business, driven by COVID-19 business disruptions and continued challenging department store traffic trends; and
a $513.2 million net decrease related to our North America retail business, inclusive of the adverse impact of COVID-19 business disruptions. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $513.1 million driven by decreases of $498.4 million in comparable store sales and $14.7 million in non-comparable store sales. The following table summarizes the percentage change in comparable store sales related to our North America retail business, inclusive of adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions:
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 % Change
Digital commerce comparable store sales11 %
Comparable store sales excluding digital commerce(40 %)
Total comparable store sales(30 %)
Europe net revenues — Net revenues decreased by $466.3 million, or 28.6%, during Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, including net favorable foreign currency effects of $52.1 million. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $518.4 million, or 31.8%.
The $466.3 million net decline in Europe net revenues was driven by:
a $357.5 million net decrease related to our Europe retail business, inclusive of the adverse impact of COVID-19 business disruptions, as well as net favorable foreign currency effects of $15.1 million. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $372.6 million driven by decreases of $336.2 million in comparable store sales and $36.4 million in non-comparable store sales. The following table summarizes the percentage change in comparable store sales related to our Europe retail business, inclusive of adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions:
 % Change
Digital commerce comparable store sales56 %
Comparable store sales excluding digital commerce(55 %)
Total comparable store sales(43 %)
a $108.8 million net decrease related to our Europe wholesale business driven by COVID-19 business disruptions partially offset by net favorable foreign currency effects of $37.0 million.
Asia net revenues — Net revenues increased by $10.3 million, or 1.0%, during Fiscal 2021 as compared to Fiscal 2020, including net favorable foreign currency effects of $28.5 million. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $18.2 million, or 1.8%.
The $10.3 million net increase in Asia net revenues was driven by:
a $20.4 million net increase related to our Asia retail business, inclusive of the adverse impact of COVID-19 business disruptions, as well as net favorable foreign currency effects of $26.9 million. On a constant currency basis, net revenues decreased by $6.5 million, reflecting a decrease of $43.1 million in comparable store sales, partially offset by an increase of $36.6 million in non-comparable store sales. The following table summarizes the percentage change in comparable store sales related to our Asia retail business, inclusive of adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions:
 % Change
Digital commerce comparable store sales54 %
Comparable store sales excluding digital commerce(7 %)
Total comparable store sales(6 %)
This increase was partially offset by a $10.1 million net decrease related to our Asia wholesale business driven by COVID-19 business disruptions, primarily in Japan.
Gross Profit.    Gross profit decreased by $791.9 million, or 21.7%, to $2.861 billion in Fiscal 2021, including net favorable foreign currency effects of $60.2 million. Gross profit during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 reflects adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions, including incremental inventory charges of $21.0 million and $157.3 million, respectively. Gross profit during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 also reflects inventory charges of $8.3 million and $2.2 million, respectively, recorded in connection with our restructuring plans. Gross profit as a percentage of net revenues increased to 65.0% in Fiscal 2021 from 59.3% in Fiscal 2020. The 570 basis point improvement was primarily driven by improved pricing and lower levels of promotional activity, lower non-routine inventory charges recorded during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year, and favorable geographic and channel mix.
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Gross profit as a percentage of net revenues is dependent upon a variety of factors, including changes in the relative sales mix among distribution channels, changes in the mix of products sold, pricing, the timing and level of promotional activities, foreign currency exchange rates, and fluctuations in material costs. These factors, among others, may cause gross profit as a percentage of net revenues to fluctuate from year to year.
Selling, General, and Administrative Expenses.    SG&A expenses include compensation and benefits, advertising and marketing, rent and occupancy, distribution, information technology, legal, depreciation and amortization, bad debt, and other selling and administrative costs. SG&A expenses decreased by $599.0 million, or 18.5%, to $2.639 billion in Fiscal 2021, including net unfavorable foreign currency effect of $40.7 million. The decrease in SG&A expenses reflects impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions and our related mitigating actions, including (i) lower compensation-related expenses largely driven by employee furloughs and terminations, reduced pay for our executives, senior management team, and Board of Directors, and COVID-19-related government subsidies, (ii) lower rent and occupancy costs largely driven by reduced percentage-of-sales-based rent due to store closures and a reduction in traffic, as well as rent abatements negotiated with certain of our landlords, (iii) favorable COVID-19-related bad debt expense adjustments, and (iv) our operational discipline. SG&A expenses as a percentage of net revenues increased to 60.0% in Fiscal 2021 from 52.6% in Fiscal 2020. The 740 basis point increase was primarily due to operating deleverage on lower net revenues, partially offset by expense savings across various categories.
The $599.0 million decrease in SG&A expenses was driven by:
Fiscal 2021
Compared to
Fiscal 2020
(millions)
SG&A expense category:
Compensation-related expenses$(263.9)
Bad debt expense(86.3)
Rent and occupancy costs(80.4)
Staff-related expenses(59.4)
Selling-related expenses(46.8)
Depreciation and amortization expense(22.1)
Consulting fees(16.8)
Marketing and advertising expenses(13.0)
Shipping and handling costs(7.6)
Other(2.7)
Total decrease in SG&A expenses$(599.0)
We have been carefully evaluating our organizational and operating cost structures to better support long-term growth, with a focus on our (i) team organizational structures and ways of working; (ii) real estate footprint and related costs across our corporate offices, distribution centers, and direct-to-consumer retail and wholesale doors; and (iii) brand portfolio. Additionally, we plan to continue to closely manage our discretionary spending.
Impairment of Assets.   During Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020, we recorded non-cash impairment charges of $96.0 million and $31.6 million, respectively, to write-down certain long-lived assets. See Note 8 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Restructuring and Other Charges.   During Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020, we recorded restructuring charges of $159.1 million and $37.6 million, respectively, primarily consisting of severance and benefits costs, as well as other charges of $11.4 million and $8.8 million, respectively, primarily related to rent and occupancy costs associated with certain previously exited real estate locations for which the related lease agreements have not yet expired. Additionally, during Fiscal 2020, we recorded other charges of $20.8 million related to the charitable donation of the net cash proceeds received from the sale of our corporate jet. See Note 9 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Operating Income (Loss).    During Fiscal 2021, we reported an operating loss of $43.6 million, as compared to operating income of $317.0 million during Fiscal 2020. The $360.6 million decline in operating income reflects net adverse impacts related to COVID-19 business disruptions, as well as net favorable foreign currency effects of $19.5 million. Our operating
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results during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 were also negatively impacted by restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other charges (a portion of which related to COVID-19 business disruptions) totaling $254.4 million and $321.8 million, respectively, as previously discussed. Operating loss as a percentage of net revenues was 1.0% in Fiscal 2021, reflecting a 610 basis point decline from Fiscal 2020. The decline in operating income as a percentage of net revenues was primarily driven by the increase in SG&A expenses as a percentage of net revenues, partially offset by the increase in our gross margin and lower net restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other charges recorded during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year, all as previously discussed.
Operating income (loss) and margin for our segments, as well as a discussion of the changes in each reportable segment's operating margin from the prior fiscal year, are provided below:
 Fiscal Years Ended  
March 27, 2021March 28, 2020  
Operating
Income
(Loss)
Operating
Margin
Operating
Income
(Loss)
Operating
Margin
$
Change
Margin
Change
(millions) (millions) (millions) 
Segment:
North America$334.0 16.8%$456.0 14.5%$(122.0)230 bps
Europe189.3 16.2%336.3 20.6%(147.0)(440 bps)
Asia148.2 14.4%124.8 12.3%23.4 210 bps
Other non-reportable segments32.4 15.1%85.2 23.0%(52.8)(790 bps)
703.9 1,002.3 (298.4)
Unallocated corporate expenses(577.0)(618.1)41.1 
Unallocated restructuring and other charges
(170.5)(67.2)(103.3)
Total operating income (loss)$(43.6)(1.0%)$317.0 5.1%$(360.6)(610 bps)
North America operating margin improved by 230 basis points, primarily due to approximately 400 basis points attributable to net lower non-routine inventory charges and COVID-19-related bad debt expense recorded during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year, partially offset by higher impairment of assets recorded during the current fiscal year. Partially offsetting this net favorable improvement in operating margin were the unfavorable impacts of approximately 90 basis points and 60 basis points attributable to our wholesale and retail businesses, respectively, both largely driven by an increase in SG&A expenses as a percentage of net revenues, partially offset by an increase in our gross margin. Our North America operating margin also reflected the unfavorable impact of approximately 20 basis points attributable to other factors, including unfavorable channel mix.
Europe operating margin declined by 440 basis points, primarily due to the unfavorable impact of approximately 790 basis points related to our retail business largely driven by an increase in SG&A expenses as a percentage of net revenues, partially offset by an increase in our gross margin. This decline in operating income was partially offset by approximately 180 basis points attributable to favorable channel mix and 160 basis points attributable to net lower non-routine inventory charges and COVID-19-related bad debt expense recorded during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year, partially offset by higher impairment of assets recorded during the current fiscal year. The remaining change in operating margin was attributable to other factors, including slight improvement in our wholesale business.
Asia operating margin improved by 210 basis points, primarily due to approximately 190 basis points attributable to net lower non-routine inventory charges, COVID-19-related bad debt expense, and impairment of assets recorded during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year, as well as favorable foreign currency effects of approximately 60 basis points. The increase in operating margin also reflected the favorable impact of approximately 20 basis points related to our retail business. These increases in operating margin were partially offset by the unfavorable impact of approximately 30 basis points related to our wholesale business largely driven by an increase in SG&A expenses as a percentage of net revenues. The remaining change in operating margin was attributable to other factors, including unfavorable channel mix.
Unallocated corporate expenses decreased by $41.1 million to $577.0 million in Fiscal 2021. The decline in unallocated corporate expenses was due to lower compensation-related expenses of $87.3 million and lower rent and occupancy costs of $24.3 million, partially offset by lower intercompany sourcing commission income of $33.9 million (which is offset at the segment level and eliminates in consolidation), higher impairment of asset charges of $33.2 million, and higher other expenses of $3.4 million.
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Unallocated restructuring and other charges increased by $103.3 million to $170.5 million in Fiscal 2021, as previously discussed above and in Note 9 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Non-operating Income (Expense), Net.    Non-operating income (expense), net is comprised of interest expense, interest income, and other income (expense), net, which includes foreign currency gains (losses), equity in income (losses) from our equity-method investees, and other non-operating expenses. During Fiscal 2021, we reported non-operating expense, net, of $31.2 million, as compared to non-operating income, net, of $9.4 million in Fiscal 2020. The $40.6 million decline in non-operating income was driven by:
a $30.9 million increase in interest expense, primarily driven by the net increase in our borrowings during Fiscal 2021 (see "Financial Condition and Liquidity — Cash Flows"); and
a $24.7 million decline in interest income, primarily driven by the decrease in our investment portfolio and lower interest rates in financial markets.
These unfavorable variances were partially offset by a $15.0 million favorable change in other income (expense), net, primarily driven by the absence of a $7.1 million impairment of an equity method investment recorded during Fiscal 2020, as well as higher net foreign currency gains during Fiscal 2021 as compared to the prior fiscal year.
Income Tax Benefit (Provision).    The income tax benefit (provision) represents federal, foreign, state and local income taxes. Our effective tax rate will change from period to period based on various factors including, but not limited to, the geographic mix of earnings, the timing and amount of foreign dividends, enacted tax legislation, state and local taxes, tax audit findings and settlements, and the interaction of various global tax strategies.
We reported an income tax provision and effective tax rate of $46.3 million and (61.9%), respectively, in Fiscal 2021, as compared to an income tax benefit and effective tax rate of $57.9 million and (17.7%), respectively, in Fiscal 2020. The $104.2 million increase in our income tax provision was driven by the absence of a one-time benefit of $122.9 million recorded in connection with Swiss tax reform during the prior fiscal year, which reduced our prior fiscal year effective tax rate by 3,760 basis points. Our income tax provision in Fiscal 2021 also reflected incremental tax expense of $33.7 million primarily related to a valuation allowance provided against domestic losses attributable to significant COVID-19 business disruptions and $13.8 million related to international tax legislation enacted in connection with the European Union's anti-tax avoidance directive, partially offset by an income tax benefit of $0.9 million primarily due to a net operating loss carryback under the CARES Act. Collectively, this $46.6 million of net incremental tax expense unfavorably impacted our current fiscal period effective tax rate by 6,230 basis points. The remaining 1,950 basis point decline was attributable to tax impacts on stock-based compensation, as well as the absence of favorable settlements of certain international income tax audits that impacted the prior fiscal year. See Note 10 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.
Net Income (Loss).    We reported a net loss of $121.1 million in Fiscal 2021, as compared to net income of $384.3 million in Fiscal 2020. The $505.4 million decline in net income was primarily due to the decline in our operating income, the increase in our income tax provision, and higher non-operating expense, net, all as previously discussed. Our operating results during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 included net restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other charges totaling $254.4 million and $321.8 million, respectively, which had an after-tax effect of reducing net income by $201.5 million and $244.8 million, respectively. Net income (loss) during Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 also reflected $46.6 million of incremental net tax expense and an income tax benefit of $122.9 million, respectively, recorded in connection with one-time income tax events, as previously discussed.
Net Income (Loss) per Diluted Share.    We reported a net loss per diluted share of $1.65 in Fiscal 2021, as compared to net income per diluted share of $4.98 in Fiscal 2020. The $6.63 per share decline was due to the lower level of net income, as previously discussed. Net income (loss) per diluted share in Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 were negatively impacted by $2.71 per share and $3.17 per share, respectively, as a result of net restructuring-related charges, impairment of assets, and certain other charges, as previously discussed. Net income (loss) per diluted share in Fiscal 2021 and Fiscal 2020 were also negatively impacted by $0.64 per share due to incremental net tax expense and favorably impacted by $1.59 per share due to an income tax benefit, respectively, recorded in connection with one-time tax events, as previously discussed.
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Fiscal 2020 Compared to Fiscal 2019
The following table summarizes our results of operations and expresses the percentage relationship to net revenues of certain financial statement captions. All percentages shown in the below table and the discussion that follows have been calculated using unrounded numbers.
Fiscal Years Ended
March 28,
2020
March 30,
2019
$
Change
% / bps
Change
(millions, except per share data)
Net revenues
$6,159.8 $6,313.0 $(153.2)(2.4 %)
Cost of goods sold(2,506.5)(2,427.0)(79.5)3.3 %
Gross profit
3,653.3 3,886.0 (232.7)(6.0 %)
Gross profit as % of net revenues59.3 %61.6 %(230 bps)
Selling, general, and administrative expenses(3,237.5)(3,168.3)(69.2)2.2 %
SG&A expenses as % of net revenues52.6 %50.2