Buried in a report on the Ralph Lauren Corp's second quarter earnings comes the news that the designer's budding collegiate sportswear chain Rugby would be folded early next year "in order to focus resources on higher growth, more scalable global opportunities with the core Ralph Lauren brand," according to WWD.com. Sometimes it seems that America's biggest designer is unstoppable, targeting every possible demographic category with an abundance of product, but recent months have shown us that there is a limit to just how much Ralph Lauren product the world at large is willing to consume. This news follow the discontinuing earlier this year of the designer's American Living brand at J.C. Penney stores.
It turns out that the younger, college and post-college aged customers that Rugby courted were not as interested in the trimmed down preppy classics that were offered, or perhaps the stores were simply seen as duplicating merchandise that was already widely available under the vast assortments of the Polo label among the many other Ralph Lauren brands. For whatever reason, Rugby never quite took off. 14 remaining Rugby stores and the related e-commerce website will be closed during the company's fiscal 2013, which we interpret as over the next several months by February 2nd, 2013, so any fans out there will still have a bit of time to stock up on fitted, pony-free oxford shirts while they last.