Ralph Lauren’s 3-year-old turnaround bid isn’t galloping like a polo pony yet.
The New York fashion giant’s shares plummeted 6.6 percent Tuesday after it reported lackluster second-quarter results, with experts fretting that millennials continue to ignore the brand’s fancy stores and pricey, preppy styles.
The upscale clothing label invested heavily in marketing during the quarter to celebrate its 50th anniversary, spending 30 percent more this year than last on marketing.
Nevertheless, sales of its double-breasted blazers, striped ties, shoes and accessories rose just 1.6 percent, to $1.7 billion. In North America, same-store sales dropped 1 percent.
The results edged past Wall Street’s expectations, but “the beat was fairly subdued,” noted Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow in a research note.
The failed marketing push is further evidence that the company is still struggling to attract millennials.
Chief Executive Patrice Louvet said the company is partnering with celebrity and social influencers — including a collaboration with London street-wear brand Palace — and has a “specific focus on attracting younger consumers to the brand.”
Like other legacy labels, Ralph Lauren has been trying to pare back distribution to department stores, where its merchandise was once ubiquitous. Wholesale revenues were flat compared with last year, the company reported.
“The department stores used to be free money,” Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel told The Post. “Now the brand believes those stores should be a piece of their revenue, not the bulk.”
Still, shoppers may be losing their appetite for paying top dollar for the iconic designer’s duds, even as management bets that it can wean shoppers off discounts.
The company’s “sizable presence” in outlet and off-price retailers may have “trained” consumers to pay less for Ralph Lauren, according to Boruchow.