Counterfeits might be part of life in China, but some companies win, while Polo lost, tells Shaun Rein Bloomberg. Hong Kong operator Dickson Concept loses after twenty years its “Polo” license, as the company takes control in Asia itself.
Unlike other brands, Polo did not defend its brand in China effectively.
Piracy has damaged Polo’s brand in China and its conservative image has led it to lose market share to rivals such as Ermenegildo Zegna SpA, Gucci Group NV, Louis Vuitton and Prada SpA, said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research Group in Shanghai. “A lot of consumers have told us: Why buy a real Polo shirt if it looks the same as a fake one?”
“Ralph Lauren wasn’t doing as well as it should have in China and Hong Kong even before the financial crisis and it’s doing worse now,” he added. “It has a very ‘old’ image which is not what the Chinese consumers aspire to.”