Ralph Lauren to shut down Fifth Avenue Polo store

Posted April 05, 2017

The company announced the store closing plans Tuesday, and said that should save $140 million a year. Tightening of the brand's finances is what led to the shuttering of store. The move comes soon after the February departure of CEO Stefan Larsson. He had been tasked with leading the company's turnaround, but clashed with the eponymous founder over creative differences.

A coffee shop inside the Fifth Avenue store will be closed, but the company said it is looking at ways to keep the Ralph's Coffee brand alive. "The rent is probably one of the highest for them, and at some point it's hard to justify it". The shares had already slid 9.9 percent this year through Monday's close.

Its latest actions will result in a $370 million charge, the company said.

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Ralph Lauren opened the flagship in mid-2014 after signing a lease the year before for a 15-year term that set the yearly rent at $25 million, real estate sources said.

Gap and Macy's have also announced store closures in recent months, and on Monday, J.Crew announced that its longtime creative director Jenna Lyons would leave the company. It is also selling less merchandise to department stores, which have hurt the brand through heavy discounting. According to Ralph Lauren, the new solution is expected to deliver a more consistent customer experience across the global digital ecosystem, with an advantaged total operating cost.

Now, as part of Ralph Lauren's continued commitment to optimising its store footprint, the company will close its dedicated Polo store at 711 Fifth Avenue and integrate its product into the Ralph Lauren men's and women's flagship stores on Madison Avenue and its downtown locations. Its nearby restaurant, the Polo Bar, will stay open.