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Ralph Lauren in reorg, reduces workforce by 15%; rolling out new tech platforms

Ralph Lauren is streamlining its organization structure, cutting jobs in the process. It’s also rolling out enhanced tech platforms to support its global operations.

The upscale retailer is establishing a simplified global organizational structure which will reduce its 24,000-member global workforce by 15% — or approximately 3,600 employees — by the end of fiscal 2021. Ralph Lauren expects to incur total estimated pre-tax charges of about $120 million to $160 million.

The workforce reduction is expected to result in a gross annualized pre-tax expense swing of about $180 million to $200 million, with savings realization primarily beginning in fiscal year 2022.

As part of the new organizational structure, Ralph Lauren plans to consolidate its global marketing and branding functions under David Lauren, who is vice chairman of the board, chief branding and chief innovation officer, reported WWD. He will add marketing responsibilities. Jonathan Bottomley, chief brand officer at Ralph Lauren, will leave the company.

“The changes happening in the world around us have accelerated the shifts we saw pre-COVID, and we are fast-tracking some of our plans to match them – including advancing our digital transformation and simplifying our team structures,” said Patrice Louvet, president and CEO. “These steps will enable us to progress our brand elevation journey and deliver Ralph’s vision in today’s dynamic environment – inspiring our consumers around the world and creating value for all of our stakeholders.”

The company said it is transforming how it operates with the implementation of new technology platforms across several key areas of its business. This includes rolling out a cloud-based human resources and planning system globally.

It also is launching an initiative to simplify ways of working, better connect teams and digitize the product journey, with a goal of enabling faster and more connected decision-making from product design to market. 

Ralph Lauren is also continuing to invest in technologies that help deliver an enhanced consumer experience – with new digital capabilities that support areas like omnichannel shopping, personalization, social commerce and augmented reality.

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