Ralph Lauren closing iconic store points to questionable retail future

Global Business

Ralph Lauren closing iconic store points to questionable retail future

American designer Ralph Lauren is handing back the keys to his Polo Store on Manhattan’s swanky Fifth Avenue, just months after signing a rumored 16-year $400 million lease.

CGTN’s John Terrett reports on the future of the retail industry.

Ralph Lauren closing iconic store points to questionable retail future

American designer Ralph Lauren is handing back the keys to his Polo Store on Manhattan's swanky Fifth Avenue, just months after signing a rumored 16-year $400 million lease. CGTN's John Terrett reports on the future of the retail industry.

Lauren’s had a rough couple of years in business. There’s been turmoil in the boardroom, the strengthening dollar means tourists in New York have less to spend, and the trend towards shopping online reduces foot traffic in stores.

The Ralph Lauren Company said even after its Fifth Avenue location closes, it’ll still have seven stores and a restaurant in New York.

K-Mart’s owner, Sears Holdings, recently let it be known it has doubts whether it can survive as a brick-and-mortar store operator.

Urban policy and planning professor Owen Gutfreund said he sees some big city stores doing well moving forward.

“There are going to be new retailers that want their trophy store, their flagship store in the center of the commercial world,” Gutfreund, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning, Hunter College, CUNY said, “More and more of the everyday retail is what is going to survive in the small towns. That’s a cupcake store, a bagel store, a restaurant, things that you cannot get online.”

As the iconic store in its iconic location brings down the shutters for the last time, no one is predicting the death of retail. Only that it must change to meet modern demands.


Burt Flickinger on future of retail industry

For more on the future of retail industry CGTN’s Susan Roberts spoke to Burt Flickinger from the Strategic Resource Group.