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Why Ralph Lauren's Shares Are Up Sharply Today

By John Rosevear - Apr 6, 2020 at 12:03PM

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There are new reasons to think that consumers are still spending online.

What happened

Shares of Ralph Lauren (RL 1.51%) were moving up on Monday morning, on growing investor optimism about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic -- and some new signs that affluent consumers have been shopping online while staying home.

As of noon EDT, Ralph Lauren's shares were up about 14.5% from Friday's closing price.

So what

Here's a new data point for retail-stock investors: Wayfair (W -0.95%), the online furniture and home-goods seller, said on Monday morning that its business has been booming since mid-March, when many consumers started sheltering at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Clearly, at least some stuck-at-home consumers haven't stopped spending. 

A Ralph Lauren sign on the outside of the company's store in Paris.

While Ralph Lauren's brick-and-mortar stores are closed, its online stores have been up and running. Image source: Ralph Lauren.

Here's why that's relevant: While Ralph Lauren's brick-and-mortar stores (and the brick-and-mortar department stores that carry its lines) have been closed since mid-March, the company has solid online businesses that have been growing in recent quarters. 

How are those online businesses doing right now? Ralph Lauren hasn't yet said, but we do have another data point: The distribution centers for its online businesses (and some of its wholesale accounts) reopened on April 1 after extensive deep cleaning, meaning that the delays in shipping that might have deterred some customers in March are now being addressed.  

Add it up and it's not unreasonable to think that the company might be doing a bit better than retail investors had been expecting.

Now what

It'll be a little while before we know for sure how Ralph Lauren has been performing under the circumstances: The company isn't expected to report its fiscal third-quarter earnings until sometime in May. 

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Wayfair. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Ralph Lauren Corporation Stock Quote
Ralph Lauren Corporation
RL
$100.22 (1.51%) $1.49
Wayfair Inc. Stock Quote
Wayfair Inc.
W
$62.31 (-0.95%) $0.60

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