What happened

Shares of Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL), a global leader in designing, marketing, and distribution of premium lifestyle products spanning apparel, home, accessories and fragrances, are down 5% as of 3:10 p.m. EST. The stock is following other apparel retailers lower Thursday.

So what

Today's decline seems to be a continuation of pessimism surrounding many premium retailers, despite many beating estimates in recent quarters. In fact, Ralph Lauren declined 7% in early November after releasing second-quarter results that topped estimates for both the top and bottom lines. Partly behind that decline was the company's inability to drive North American results higher: Comparable-store sales in North America increased 1% in constant currency during the second quarter, despite management ramping up marketing by 30%.

A man shopping in a premium-apparel retail store

Image source: Getty Images.

With those second-quarter sales results in mind, especially heading into the holiday season, investors are likely a little concerned after seeing shares of Tailored Brands (NYSE:TLRD) plunge 31% as of 3:10 p.m. EST, after its comparable-sales growth and earnings beat were offset by a guidance cut. As you can see in the chart below, premium retailers have faced declining stock prices over the past six months:

RL Chart

RL data by YCharts.

Now what

Investors should take Ralph Lauren's decline today with a grain of salt and remember that it's actually taking strides with its business. Remember that during the second quarter it grew sales in China by 13% and digital sales by 10%, all while improving adjusted gross margin by 100 basis points to 60.9%. Furthermore, management's "Writing Our Next Great Chapter" strategy should help win a new generation of consumers, drive expansion, improve core products and underdeveloped categories, and increase its digital e-commerce footprint.

Ralph Lauren is declining today with no real direct news, though uncertainty heading into the holiday season, and a large tumble from another premium apparel retailer, are difficult for some investors to shake off. But they'd be wise to focus on the long-term improvements management is making.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.