Ralph Lauren is to cut roles at its direct-to-consumer UK team, Drapers can reveal.
Several sources have indicated that staff at “all levels” of the team based at Ralph Lauren’s New Bond Street office in London have been put into consultation.
The exact number of staff affected is not known, but merchandising and planning teams are understood to be among those impacted.
A source familiar with the situation told Drapers: “[Ralph Lauren] doesn’t need a product team in London. They have a team in America who run a large part [of the operation].”
Industry sources speculated Ralph Lauren is considering merging roles and consolidating positions with a view to shaping a pan-European operation under a single team.
However, one source warned: “There is a degree to which buyers are selecting for a particular market and you need to have a knowledge of what that market is. European countries are into brighter colours and bolder prints, [compared with the UK]. You need to understand who the customer is.”
A spokeswoman for Ralph Lauren said: “We are focused on fostering a consumer-centric organisation that puts our consumer at the heart everything that we do. In support of that goal, we are reorganising our team in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to create a channel-agnostic and more efficient organisation that will provide an increasingly consistent and elevated experience, whenever and wherever our consumers are interacting with the brand.”
Ralph Lauren’s most recent results for the three months to 31 December show that revenue from operations in Europe rose 13% on a reported basis to $420m (£318m). On a constant-currency basis, like-for-like sales were down 6%, driven by an 8% decline in bricks-and-mortar stores, which was partially offset by an 8% increase in online sales.