Ralph Lauren Closing Flagship Polo Store, Cutting Jobs To Save Money

Ralph Lauren to cut jobs, close flagship Fifth Avenue Polo store

Don't cry too much 'Lo heads, this Fifth Avenue store is not the Polo Mansion on Madison Ave, so breathe easy.

Nielson adds the closure of 711 Fifth Avenue will optimise Ralph Lauren's store portfolio in NY area and allow the company to focus on opportunities to "pilot new and innovative customer experiences".

The Polo Bar Restaurant, which is located around the corner from the store on 55th Street, will remain open, according to the company. And that is in addition to the $180 to $220 million they expect to save from the cuts they made previous year.

The news comes two months after Ralph Lauren's chief executive, Stefan Larsson, announed his resignation - after just two years on the job - over differences with the namesake founder of the iconic brand. The current plan, then, is close at least 50 stores and eliminate 1,000 jobs.

Ralph Lauren's lower-end Polo and Lauren brands are facing competition from fast-fashion retailers such as H&M HMb.ST and Inditex's ITX.MC Zara.




The company also said there may be future "reviews of store footprints" and indicated that more stores may be closed. The company expects to incur restructuring costs of approximately $370 million as a result of these new activities. Its closing, scheduled for April 15, will leave the retailer with seven stores in New York City.

The company will also test new retail concepts, including the potential to grow Ralph's Coffee.

"These are important actions we are taking to continue our evolution and deliver on the "Way Forward" commitments we made in June", explains Ralph Lauren chief financial officer, Jane Nielsen.

Clothing will be moved to its other NY stores, including its Madison Avenue flagship and its downtown locations.

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