US: Ralph Lauren to axe Rugby brand
Luxury apparel firm Ralph Lauren Corp plans to axe its Rugby diffusion line to focus instead on growing its core labels.
The company says it will close Rugby's 14 stores and its e-commerce website by the end of fiscal 2013 and expects to record pre-tax charges of US$20-30m in the second half of the year.
Speaking on a conference call to investors last week, president and CEO Roger Farah said: "This was not an easy decision to make, considering the hard work of the Rugby team over the few years and the tremendous loyalty of the Rugby core customers.
"We continue to believe that we can service the millennium Rugby customer with brands such as Denim & Supply and Club Monaco."
The news came as the company lowered its full-year sales guidance after second-quarter profit slipped 8% to $214m.
Ralph Lauren Corp also operates 103 Ralph Lauren stores, 59 Club Monaco stores, and 201 Polo factory stores and 16 Rugby stores, along with 474 concession shops worldwide. Its global licensing partners operate 144 stores.
Earlier this year it ended a five-year agreement to sell the exclusive American Living lifestyle line at US department store retailer JC Penney.
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