Gap and Ralph Lauren on a different arc

Citigroup weighs in on Ralph Lauren (RL -2.6%) after the luxury seller disappointed with its sales and profit guidance.

The investment firm keeps a Buy rating on shares, but takes the stock off of its U.S. Focus List. The take from Citi is that Ralph Lauren needs to show a payoff from its strategic growth investments before it will move all-in.

The disparity between Ralph Lauren's outlook and the momentum picking up at Gap (GPS +3.6%) is striking. Retail analysts note a lot of the so-called pent-up retail demand in early spring has veered toward online shopping and on-trend promotions - two areas Gap appears to be a step ahead of peers.

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