Rescuing Ralph Lauren Won’t Be Quick

by MR Magazine Staff

After Wednesday’s retail bloodbath — when Macy’s said its crummy results will likely last all year, sending its stock plunging 15 percent, taking other retailers down with it — investors were pleasantly surprised Thursday to see less-than-horrible results at Ralph Lauren, a big department-store vendor. Shares spiked by 6 percent at the open on Thursday and held onto some of those gains even as department-store shares kept falling. Call it the “Stefan Larsson bump.” Since joining Ralph Lauren last November, Larsson has accelerated a reorganization aiming to cut $125 million in annual costs by the end of fiscal 2017 (up from the originally planned $110 million ). He’s closed dozens of stores. He’s shaken up management ranks, appointing new leaders and showing multiple executives the door. And he’s managed to do all this while maintaining (at least publicly) the praise of 76-year-old founder Ralph Lauren, who had been the company’s only CEO for its 50-year history before appointing Larsson and who remains executive chairman and chief creative officer. Read more at Bloomberg.