Ralph Lauren Fails to Keep up with Millennial Demand
April 17, 2017
Ralph Lauren is the latest company to openly fall from grace and close its once highly coveted Fifth Avenue Polo store. On a recent visit, a writer from Businessinsider.com (an Amazon company) went into the store and found overpriced polos that look like they came out of the same POLO ad circa 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000. The last popped collar hasn’t been seen since 2005, but the iconic American fashion house continued to ride its shortening wave. A real tragedy since buyers are just not visiting the famous Avenue like they used to, especially with Trump halting tourist flow with his travel ban, spending $3,000 a month for a spot on Fifth Avenue just did not make sense to continue. Analysts predict 300,000 less international tourists will visit the State of New York this year and even though domestic visits remain strong, it takes four Americans to to spend what one international visitor would spend in the city that never sleeps.
Retailers are shuttering doors and cutting jobs left and right as online giants like Amazon continue to soar. Lauren’s 2016 ending quarter saw a 12 percent fall from 2015. Ralph Lauren the brand and Ralph Lauren the designer are still both very rich entities, both valued in the billions of US dollars. The company is making big changes now in order to prevent huge losses or even bankruptcy later.
Online companies offer free shipping, Zara makes a product and can have it in stores or online within days. Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has been making the same thing for years and when the industry has so many top tier designers and new cuts and celebrity endorsements changing the game, you have to move with the market in order to compete. Earlier this year Ralph Lauren cut ties with a former CEO who failed to live up to rebranding promises during his short business relationship with the company.
To last this long in an ever changing business is a statement to the company, and with careful and strategic planning, such as going digital and letting go of a bit of ego in order to close the stores not making money, Ralph Lauren as a brand will continue to fight to stay afloat. Especially in a time where a new fashion line seems to open up to the masses via social media almost every other day.