An analyst from Noah Dunne Finkso has downgraded his rating on Polo Ralph Lauren, based in part to his disappointment over the company’s design for a beige bathroom rug.

“Our old mat was worn out, so my wife picked up a new one at Macy’s.  Nothing fancy, just a plain, beige, 3-by-2 rectangle.  But I happened to flip over a corner and there’s this Ralph Lauren tag.  I’m like, Ralph Lauren?  Really?

“I found out my wife got it on sale for $22, and I thought, this is a big, beige flag for the stock.”

Ralph Lauren, born Ralph Lifshitz in 1939, is an American designer best known for the polo player logo on the breast of his ubiquitous short-sleeved shirts.  Polo Ralph Lauren is a diversified, international purveyor of fashion and home furnishings with a market capitalization of $13 billion.

“I think Lauren has made a huge mistake here.  He’s cheapening the brand,” continued the analyst.  “There is absolutely nothing special about this bath mat.

“There’s no design to it at all.  It’s a freaking beige rectangle.”

“How can I wear my $400 Polo sweater or carry my $2500 Purple Label briefcase when I’m afraid people will look at me and say, hey, Ralph Lauren, didn’t he design that stupid bath mat?”

Representatives of Polo Ralph Lauren could not be reached for comment.  Ralph Lauren is not believed to have been personally involved in the design of the bath mat.

An analyst at Hale Yessai Sherwood offers an opposing view.  “We still rate Polo Ralph Lauren market outperform.  Their top and bottom lines grew 14% last fiscal year, they’ve got robust cash flow, and they’ve barely scratched the surface of their Asian potential.  Basic home furnishings are integral to their brand awareness, always have been.”

The Noah Dunne analyst counters, “Hey, I understand you want an entry-level brand builder.  But somebody at Ralph Lauren has to look at this and say, whoa, for $22, can’t we do better than a freaking beige rectangle?  If people want a freaking beige rectangle, they can get one at K-Mart for nine bucks.”

In fact, K-Mart’s website offers bath mats for $8.99, with free shipping.  They are available in eight colors, including beige.

4 thoughts on “A BIG BEIGE FLAG

  1. … but when I use this bath mat, it builds up my low self esteem… 🙂

    Ohhh and by the way, rectangles are the new black!

    • Noah Dunne Finkso replies, “Kmart doesn’t call their bath mats beige, but ‘khaki.’ And Ralph Lauren actually calls them ‘Dune’ or “Chamomile.’ They all know ‘beige’ equals ‘boring.’ And yet, there it is on my bathroom floor.”

  2. What you don’t realize is that Lauren’s shade of beige is worth twice what you paid. That color was formulated for his line by the Color Forecasting Institute of America, to be the industry standard for a particular color over the next ten years. Ralph paid big bucks for first rights to that color, probably beating out Martha Stewart and obviously, K-Mart!

    Now to address the issue of its rectangular shape. It’s an over-sized mat, cut larger than the standard, equal-chops from a given-width roll, indicative of the lesser lines. Lauren’s line is cut like cookies from rolled dough. Someone has to pay for the leftover “dough.” Ya can’t just cut it into hot pads! Or can you?

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