Ralph Lauren to cut jobs; Flagship Fifth Avenue Polo store to be closed

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Corp. is about to cut jobs and shut its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, among other office and store locations, as part of a cost-cutting plan.

The luxury retailer also said its e-commerce business would move to Salesforce.com Inc.'s cheaper and more efficient Commerce Cloud platform.

Ralph Lauren had said last year it was building an in-house global e-commerce platform.

The New York-based retailer also said on Tuesday that it would integrate its products from the Fifth Avenue store into the Ralph Lauren men's and women's flagship stores on Madison Avenue and its downtown locations.

Ralph Lauren said it expects to incur about $370 million in charges and save about $140 million from the new measures, which are part of a cost-cutting plan announced in June.

The retailer did not specify how many jobs it would cut.

Ralph Lauren said it would cut about 1,000 jobs and close 50 stores in June to lower costs and revive sales growth.

Ralph Lauren, like other luxury brands, has been struggling as Americans spend lesser on apparel and accessories, which resulted to falling sales in the last seven quarters.

The company's margins have also taken a knock as department stores discount heavily to get rid of excess inventory.

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

The shares of Ralph Lauren have dipped 1.3 percent to $80.32 in the early trade.


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