The Polo Ralph Lauren store at the Bellevue at Broad and Walnut Streets will be closing March 5, Bellevue management has confirmed.
The upscale retailer ends a 27-year run at the Bellevue, and its closing is part of a larger store-shuttering strategy by Ralph Lauren.
Earlier this month Lauren Corp. said chief executive officer Stefan Larsson would be leaving after clashing with the fashion brand’s founder, sending shares of the struggling company down by 12 percent. Larsson, who previously ran Gap Inc.’s Old Navy, will leave on May 1 after less than two years on the job.
The surprise split followed discord about how to reinvigorate the 50-year-old brand, which was a standard bearer for preppy style in the 1980s and ’90s. In recent years, the company has suffered from heavy discounting and an over-reliance on beleaguered department stores. It also has an aging customer base and no clear way to appeal to more millennial shoppers.
The Bellevue closure "is part of the tenant’s strategy to reduce its store count," Maureen Weir, director of marketing for the Bellevue, said Thursday. “Its departure presents a great opportunity for some other retailer to land such a prime location.”
The Bellevue sits at Broad and Walnut Streets and houses retail stores, restaurants, casual eateries, a Hyatt hotel, and a high-end fitness gym, called the Sporting Club at the Bellevue.
Weir said the Polo store, which opened in 1989, measures 11,888 square feet with an entrance on Walnut Street. Its glass storefront faces both Walnut and Broad. She said “a number” of potential tenants have already begun looking at the site.
Several apparel chains, both high end and middle of the road, are closing stores to better align their declining brick-and-mortar operations with their websites. Digital retail sales continue to grow faster than in-store sales overall.
Calls to Lauren Corp. in New York on Thursday seeking comment were not immediately returned.
This article contains information from Bloomberg News.