Ralph Lauren


Ralph Lauren’s restructuring plan is moving full steam ahead as the company is set to cut more than 100 positions from a distribution center in North Carolina.

The distribution center is based in Greensboro, and while a company spokeswoman declined to specify what positions were being cut, she said “North Carolina remains a critically important hub for our business.”

While the number of positions being cut is understood to be around 107, the layoffs do not constitute additional cuts for Ralph Lauren but are part of a recent decision to shutter its New York Polo flagship and move to a new e-commerce platform.

That disclosure was characterized as part of a broader restructuring effort, referred to by the company as the “Way Forward Plan,” as are the layoffs at the distribution center.

“We are continuing to deliver on the Way Forward Plan to return the company to sustainable, profitable growth,” the spokeswoman said. “As part of this, we have conducted a comprehensive assessment of all areas of our business and will reduce headcount in select areas.”

The retail side of the business is also headed for a sizable reduction in staff. In addition to the New York flagship closure, the company previously said it’s planning to close 50 stores during this fiscal year, in addition to the 43 stores closed during fiscal 2016.

While the previously announced store closures are expected to see Ralph Lauren saving $70 million in costs per year, the flagship closure and the e-commerce move is set to save $140 million per year.

Rent alone at the 38,000-square-foot flagship located on a prestigious strip of New York’s Fifth Avenue cost Ralph Lauren $25 million per year, according to sources.

The company has been in cost-cutting mode since last year, when its now former chief executive officer Stefan Larsson revealed the Way Forward Plan, which is set to reshape the company throughout this year and the next, and bring Ralph Lauren back to profitability over 2019 and 2020.

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