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Ralph Lauren to cut 15% of its global workforce

Sadiyah Ismailjee
23 September 2020

Ralph Lauren has announced it will cut 15% of its global workforce as it plans to roll out improved technology platforms to support its worldwide operations.

The cuts, which will take place by the end of this fiscal year, could affect up to 3,700 jobs.

The move could result in annual pre-tax savings of between $180m and $200m, Ralph Lauren said.

The premium fashion retailer, which has 530 stores globally, said the cuts is part of the company's plan to make the brand more online focussed.

The US based retailer also said it is planning a “flatter team structure” by consolidating its global marketing and branding functions.

In addition, Ralph Lauren said it will create a new consumer intelligence and experience department, and reorganise its corporate merchandising teams.

The premium fashion retailer added it will be launching a global cloud-based HR and planning system and will be improving its delivery service to customers through its Digitising the Value Chain project. This project focusses on simplifying working processes, improves how teams work together and digitises product journeys.

Ralph Lauren president and chief executive Patrice Louvet said: “The changes happening in the world around us have accelerated the shifts we saw pre-COVID, and we are fast-tracking some of our plans to match them – including advancing our digital transformation and simplifying our team structures.”

“These steps will enable us to progress our brand elevation journey and deliver Ralph’s vision in today’s dynamic environment – inspiring our consumers around the world and creating value for all of our stakeholders.”

Ralph Lauren added it expects to incur one-time pre-tax charges of about $120m to $160m in fiscal 2021.

Last month, Ralph Lauren saw its quarterly revenue fall by nearly $1 billion (£750 million), due to the Coronavirus crisis which has led to store closures and a lower demand for premium and high-end handbags, apparel and accessories, as shoppers scale back on non-essential spending.

Ralph Lauren reported a net loss of $127.7 million (£96 million) in the first quarter ended 27 June, compared with a profit of $117.1 million (£88 million) a year earlier.

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