HARE RESIGNS AT POLO RALPH LAUREN
Byline: Sharon Edelson
NEW YORK — David Hare, an architect of Ralph Lauren’s retail expansion, has resigned as group president of Polo Ralph Lauren Stores, the company said Thursday.
The company has reorganized, placing all retail responsibilities under Donna Barbieri, group president in charge of international retail, store outlet division and creative services.
Prior to joining Polo Ralph Lauren, Barbieri was vice president and general merchandise manager at Bloomingdale’s and Federated Department Stores.
Barbieri assumes control of a fast-growing retail division, which has been building larger, multi-level stores in many cities around the world. The company operates 27 Polo Ralph Lauren stores and 64 outlet stores in the U.S., and 65 international Polo Ralph Lauren units. In addition, there are 17 licensed stores worldwide.
There are reportedly plans to open large units on West Broadway in SoHo here, and on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. According to the prospectus for the company’s IPO, Polo Ralph Lauren plans to test market a Polo Jeans store in 1998.
As one of three joint venture partners with Ralph Lauren, Hare owned and operated a number of Polo Ralph Lauren stores with the designer. He became an officer of Polo Ralph Lauren when it went public on June 12.
Just prior to that, the company bought back the partnership’s 50 percent interest, for which Hare and the others received some $10 million in cash and stock.
Preceding the offering, Ralph Lauren took control of all of Polo Retail, and Hare joined the company as an employee. Part of Polo Retail’s operations were based in Denver, where Hare lives. After the IPO, Polo Retail consolidated its retail operation and closed the Denver office, relocating the staff to New York.
“[David] is a terrific entrepreneur, and it has been a pleasure working with him,” Michael Newman, vice chairman and chief operation officer of Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., said. “With the recent additions of Peter Rizzo [executive vice president] and Cody Kondo [senior vice president] and this new retail structure, we are perfectly positioned to move our retail business to a higher level.”
In other news, Polo Ralph Lauren will open a 9,000-square-foot store at the Americana in Manhasset, N.Y., today. The store features Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren for men, Ralph Lauren’s women’s collection and Ralph by Ralph Lauren.
In addition, the Ralph Lauren home collection is displayed in three lifestyle rooms. The Manhasset store also has an antiques counter highlighting eighteenth-century jewelry and accessories.