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Fashion Insights: Ralph Lauren Closes Shop, Embraces Digital

Photo from: NBC New York

Some of the biggest brand names we have grown accustomed to are choosing a new route that includes less real estate and high cutbacks. Luxury brands like Ralph Lauren (RL) are embracing the digital age and beefing up their online platforms in lieu of more physical store fronts.


In fact, Ralph Lauren recently announced the closure of their flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York. Justification? The $140 million it hopes to save in employee and operational costs and a more extensive focus on their online digital platforms.


More than 40,000 retail-sector jobs have already been lost in the United States alone with that number growing exponentially as more retailers decide to follow suit. Companies like Amazon are stealing the spotlight and eating the lunch of these retailers - catering to the convenience of on-line shopping. Being a brand that has always kept their finger on the pulse, RL is simply adapting to the change in market. 

- As stated by Kevin McKee in our latest The Helmsmen Series instalment, there are still people willing to pay for top-notch quality. They understand that it’s not inexpensive, but they place a value on the additional services and amenities that come with it.


The good news? The physical retail experience isn’t dead, In fact, some stores are still thriving, especially those providing a boutique-like service and/or offering exceptional value for their products. As stated by Kevin McKee in our latest The Helmsmen Series instalment, there are still people willing to pay for top-notch quality. They understand that it’s not inexpensive, but they place a value on the additional services and amenities that come with it.


Call it pessimism (or realism, maybe?), but we believe there should be an unwritten rule stating that companies should be embracing the digital age. In order to practice what we preach The Helm team is excited to announce the launch of our new website in the coming weeks.


Doing this will help make our products conveniently available all over the world, recreating portions of the in-store experience online and ease of shopping. Don’t worry, unlike RL's decision to pare back on their brick and mortar locations, at The Helm we believe that physical locations are just as important as they've ever been - our Edmonton showroom is here to stay!


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