With profits falling, Ralph Lauren said it will be closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue next week, while putting forth a new e-commerce strategy.
The move is one of several actions announced by the company Tuesday as a cost-cutting strategy.
“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,” Jane Nielsen, Ralph Lauren’s CFO said in a statement.
The Polo flagship has been a major attraction for tourists and fashion fans from around the world and was the site of a popular holiday window display. It’s located a block away from Trump Tower, in the heart of a Fifth Avenue shopping district that has seen a downturn in foot traffic thanks to the added security, especially when President Donald Trump was in the city before his inauguration.
The company also announced that it would collaborate with Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud to create a “cost-effective, flexible e-commerce platform,” for its customers.
Ralph Lauren had said last year it was building an in-house global e-commerce platform. It 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.
After the 711 Fifth Ave. location closes on April 15, Ralph Lauren executives said they plan to integrate their products in its Ralph Lauren men’s and women’s flagship stores on Madison Avenue, and other locations throughout Manhattan.
The Polo Bar Restaurant, which is located around the corner from the store on 55th Street, will remain open, according to the company.
The retailer did not specify how many jobs it would cut, but in June it announced about 1,000 jobs would be slashed and 50 stores would close to lower costs and revive sales growth.
Ralph Lauren, like other luxury brands, has been struggling as Americans spend less on apparel and accessories, resulting in falling sales in the last seven quarters. Its lower-end brands are facing competition from fast-fashion retailers such as H&M and Inditex’s Zara.