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Why Shares of Ralph Lauren Are Falling Today

By John Rosevear - Mar 17, 2020 at 10:10AM

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The company is shutting down stores on virus concerns.

What happened

Shares of Ralph Lauren (RL -1.65%) were down on Tuesday morning, after the company said it will temporarily close all of its stores in North America in response to the continued spread of COVID-19.

As of 10:30 a.m. EDT, Ralph Lauren's shares were down about 5.1% from Monday's closing price.

So what

In a statement, the company said it will close all of its stores in North America for two weeks, from March 18 through April 1. All employees will receive their usual pay for that period. 

The entrance to Ralph Lauren's store on Madison Avenue in New York.

Ralph Lauren's flagship store in New York is one of over 200 that will close for two weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Image source: Ralph Lauren.

The company said it has already closed many of its stores in Asia and Europe and is working with local authorities to determine when it will be safe to reopen. Including its Ralph Lauren and factory-outlet locations, the company has more than 200 stores in North America.

"In the current context, our purpose of inspiring the dream of a better life takes on new meaning," CEO Patrice Louvet said.

Now what

Ralph Lauren warned in February that it expected coronavirus-related disruptions and store closings in Asia to cost it $55 million to $70 million in revenue in the quarter that will end on March 31.

Given that its North America region was responsible for about 51% of its revenue in fiscal 2019, it seems very likely that Ralph Lauren will need to revise its guidance downward when it reports its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results in May. 

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