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Ralph Lauren to take direct control

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Polo recently announced its agreement to assume direct control of its wholesale and retail distribution from its licensee, Doosan Corporation, in South Korea, beginning January 1, 2011.

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Doosan Corporation will continue to operate as the company’s licensee in the region through December 31, 2010. The total purchase price will be approximately $47 million, comprised of a cash payment of $25 million for certain assets plus an additional payment estimated at $22 million for primarily inventory and various other assets to be determined at closing on December 31, 2010.

“Expanding and elevating our international presence is one of our highest strategic priorities,” said Ralph Lauren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “South Korea is one of our largest markets, and has always been an important territory for us. It remains one of the world’s most vibrant markets for luxury goods. South Korean consumers have developed a strong appreciation for our iconic sensibility and we are excited to build on this success.”

“Assuming control of South Korea is an important milestone in our broader Asian growth . It is a that enables us to directly operate all of Asia with greater consistency across all markets and channels in a manner that is more closely aligned with our global brand positioning and objectives. We began the development of our Asian several years ago with the acquisition of Japan in 2007, followed by the acquisition of other important Asian markets in January 2010, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand,” said Roger Farah, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Doosan Corporation currently distributes Polo Ralph Lauren product through approximately 175 shop-in-shops and five freestanding locations throughout South Korea.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 40 years, Polo`s reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The company`s brand names, which include Polo by Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Blue Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, RRL, RLX, Rugby, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco, constitute one of the world`s most widely recognized families of consumer brands.