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Polo Ralph Lauren goes mobile

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. has launched a mobile commerce service to let consumers buy products through their handsets.

It claims to be one of the first luxury retailers in the United States to launch a mobile commerce site and incorporate Quick Response codes in advertisements.

"Polo Ralph Lauren has been at the forefront of incorporating technology into our business and we are constantly challenging ourselves to find new ways to present the world of Ralph Lauren to our consumer," said David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications for Polo Ralph Lauren, New York. "The mobile device was a natural next step.

"We offer a lot beyond shopping -- you can read the RL Magazine, read Style Guide Q&A and watch some of our exclusive RLTV videos," he said.

Consumers can sign up for Ralph Lauren mobile alerts by texting RALPH LAUREN to 23000 or by going to the mobile site and entering their mobile number.

The SMS alerts tell consumers about store openings, events and other initiatives that Ralph Lauren is launching.

By leveraging QR code technology, Ralph Lauren will offer consumers the opportunity to shop via their camera phones by scanning the QR code appearing in print advertisements, store windows and mailers.

The QR codes will link consumers directly to Ralph Lauren's limited edition 2008 U.S. Open Collection - as well as sell Ralph Lauren Classics including Polos, Oxfords and Chinos.

The mobile site at will also give consumers access to the U.S. Open line.

In addition to the shopping functionality, the new site will also feature a Ralph Lauren Style Guide and exclusive video content.

No only can consumers shop the U.S. Open collection, but they can also watch tennis videos, read tournament articles and fully experience the brand -- all in the palm of their hand.

QR codes have become mainstream in Asia and are quickly spreading throughout Europe, with this technology being increasingly adopted in the U.S.

As more new phones with preinstalled reader software are introduced to the market, it is expected that QR codes will become prevalent in the years ahead.

The QR code, a two-dimensional symbol that holds a large volume of information including URLs, when detected by the phone's reader software will automatically connect the mobile user to a specified Internet portal, simply by holding the mobile device over the given symbol or photographing it.

Mobile users without a camera or QR reader can visit the mobile site to access the a the tool for QR software download.

All Polo Ralph Lauren mobile commerce transactions are secure and feature Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to ensure safe transfer of information.

Standard shipping on all purchases will be complimentary.

This news comes right after the luxury clothing brand announced its first fiscal quarter results.

The company's first quarter revenues grew by 4 percent, reaching $1.1 billion.

Expansion into mobile commerce may help bump that figure higher.

"Consumers want flexible and convenient services that are accessible on-demand," Mr. Lauren said. "Mobile commerce is so appealing because you can shop anywhere, anytime."