Gap shifts focus to Old Navy, Athleta, shutting 200 stores

Kelvin Reese
September 10, 2017

The apparel seller plans to refocus its efforts on the Old Navy and Athleta brands, a shake-up that will involve closing hundreds of stores that carry its namesake and Banana Republic names.

When Gap reported second-quarter earnings on August 17, the NY retailer revealed that Old Navy same-store sales were up 5% year over year, while Gap sales fell 1% and Banana Republic sales dropped 5%. Gap added that the strategy also includes the closure of about 200 underperforming Gap and Banana Republic specialty locations. As a result, Gap Inc.is planning to open approximately 270 more of those stores at the same time it shutters the others.

Sales have declined for both brands in recent years, as they lost ground to so-called "fast fashion" retailers like Forever 21.

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"We continue to move with the customer and meet them where they are", Gap CEO Art Peck told analysts Wednesday at a Goldman Sachs Global Annual Retailing conference that was broadcast over the internet.

Louisiana has 15 Old Navy stores, including four in the New Orleans area, but only one Athleta store, located at Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie. And Athleta, which sells athletic clothing, is expected to exceed $1 billion in sales. During the same period, Gap expects to achieve $500 million in expense savings, a portion of which will be reinvested in these "growth initiatives".

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