NEW YORK — Ralph is taking on Russia.Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. said Friday that it plans to open two units in the Moscow area next spring.Lauren will open a flagship at 1, Tretyakovsky Passage. The 8,000-square-foot unit will carry an assortment of the designer's women's and men's brands. The company will open a second, 5,000-square-foot location at the Barvikha Luxury Village, a new shopping area in an upscale suburb of Moscow that's comparable to the Americana mall in Manhasset, N.Y. For the Moscow venture, Polo has partnered with Mercury Distribution S.A., the luxury goods trading company that operates fashion retail businesses.Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive, and Roger Farah, president and chief operating officer, have made freestanding stores a priority for growth for the company, from stand-alone Double RL stores to Rugby to smaller, more intimate Ralph Lauren concept boutiques. The company has also been pursuing global opportunities, having opened a 16,000-square-foot emporium on Milan's Via Montenapoleone in 2004, and an 18,000-square-foot retail temple on Tokyo's Omotesando Boulevard last spring.In fiscal 2006, Polo's international business accounted for 30 percent, or $1.6 billion, of the company's wholesale net sales of $5.3 billion.

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