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End of an Era: Ralph Lauren Closing Flagship Fifth Avenue Store

Ralph Lauren Store Closing on Fifth
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Mandatory Credit: Photo by AP/REX/Shutterstock (8563990a) Traffic passes the Polo Ralph Lauren store on Fifth Avenue, in New York. Ralph Lauren Corp. said that it is shuttering the high-profile store less than three years after opening it. The closure is part of the New York fashion company's plan to save $140 million annually. The company said it will close other stores, cut jobs and shut some corporate offices, but did not provide details Polo Ralph Lauren, New York, USA - 04 Apr 2017
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* Ralph Lauren Polo store closing April 15th
* Company still has seven other stores in the city
* Fifth Avenue experiencing fewer tourists and lower sales

In a sign of the times, and the changing retail landscape, Ralph Lauren announced today that it will be closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue. The store, which opened less than three years ago, will close its doors on April 15.

The move is just the latest in a series of changes at Ralph Lauren. The company recently announced that chief executive officer Stefan Larsson was leaving the fashion house after just two years at the helm. Ralph Lauren is also revamping its e-commerce operations, in an effort to boost online sales. Though no other announcements have been made, analysts say more store closures could be on its way.

The news at Ralph Lauren is part of a larger downward trend affecting stores on the once-bustling Fifth Avenue in New York. A number of brands have closed their flagship boutiques on the street in recent years, including Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture and H&M. And sales continue to be hit hard.

The reason: according to the New York Times, the city is experiencing a drop in international tourism, citing President Trump’s recent travel ban. There’s another Trump connection too — Trump Tower is located on Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th Streets, and the swarms of security around the building have made the area a literal parking lot, making it harder for shoppers to get around.

The Polo store had been one of Ralph Lauren’s highest-profile locations in his hometown of New York. The company still has seven other stores — along with its acclaimed Polo Bar restaurant — in the city.