After eight years of trying to attract younger consumers with its youth-oriented Rugby label, fashion powerhouse Ralph Lauren has decided to shut down the 14-store chain by February 2013.
“Rugby’s goal was to chase the J.Crew prepster customer who isn’t drawn to a logo,” said brand consultant Matt Hogan. “It was an attempt to get people based on style and overall look, with layered pieces for a younger consumer.”
Not only is the brand falling behind rivals like Michael Kors and Tory Burch in terms of attracting younger shoppers, it’s also performing poorly in the accessories department. “It’s a brand that is mature and tends to have an older crowd, it’s not especially contemporary,” said Steven Dennis, president of SageBerry Consulting, which specializes in the retail industry. “That’s a challenge in terms of stretching to attract the millennial consumer.”