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Ralph Lauren laying off thousands in pandemic slowdown

Ralph Lauren laying off thousands in pandemic slowdown
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Ralph Lauren announced it would lay off thousands of its global workforce by the end of the fiscal year as the company struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reuters reported that the luxury brand would cut 15 percent of its workforce as it aims to lower costs because of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on global economies.

The company did not detail how many or what types of jobs would be cut. Ralph Lauren last reported a total workforce of around 24,900, meaning 3,700 employees' jobs could be on the line.

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"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," Chief Executive Officer Patrice Louvet said in a statement.

Ralph Lauren has 530 stores globally and said the changes would bring about more support for its online business.

The company's cuts come as more customers focus on essential spending during the pandemic rather than nonessential shopping at retailers such as Ralph Lauren.

The pandemic has also put significant mergers on hold after France's LVMH announced it was trying to exit a $16 billion deal to acquire Tiffany & Co., Reuters reported.

Despite the pandemic's effects on physical shopping, Ralph Lauren, a New York-based company, said it would invest in digital platforms to support broader e-commerce operations and personalization.

The company's layoffs could result in gross annual pretax savings of about $180 million to $200 million, Ralph Lauren said.

It anticipates incurring one-time pretax charges of about $120 million to $160 million in fiscal 2021.

The Hill reached out to Ralph Lauren but did not immediately receive a response.