Ralph Lauren to slash costs, explore new retail concepts

Ralph Lauren Corporation has announced several key actions as part of its Way Forward Plan to return the company to sustainable, profitable growth. As a part of cost-cutting measures, 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.

Regarding the closure of 711 Fifth Avenue, Jane Nielsen, the company’s CFO said in a media statement, "We continue to review our store footprint in each market to ensure we have the right distribution and customer experience in place. The decision will optimize our store portfolio in the New York area and allow us to focus on opportunities to pilot new and innovative customer experiences."

The company has decided to move to a more cost-effective, flexible e-commerce platform through a new collaboration with Salesforce's Commerce Cloud (formerly called Demandware). Ralph Lauren expects this new solution to deliver a more consistent customer experience across the global digital ecosystem, with an advantaged total operating cost.

The company will continue to operate its seven additional store locations and its flagship Polo Bar Restaurant in New York City. Ralph Lauren will also explore new retail concepts, including leveraging Ralph's Coffee, and developing new store formats to better connect with the customers.

The company expects that these decisions, together with actions to continue to streamline the organization, cost structure and real estate portfolio, will result in approximately 140 million dollars in annualized expense savings, which will also help fund investments for future growth. These savings are in addition to the 180-220 million dollars of annualized expense savings announced at the company's June 7, 2016 Investor Day.

"These are important actions we are taking to continue our evolution and deliver on the Way Forward commitments we made in June. We are looking carefully at the way consumers are shopping online and believe that shifting to the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform will allow us to create a best-in-class solution more efficiently in all of our markets around the world," Nielsen added.

Picture:Ralph Lauren website





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