Sad news for Gap lovers (aka me). The well-known retail brand announced yesterday they are closing 175 specialty stores in North America within the next few years. It hasn’t been a secret the company has been struggling to bring back its original aesthetic. These changes, however, will not impact Gap outlet and Gap factory stores. With the closing of 175 stores, 250 jobs will be eliminated at Gap’s North American headquarters.
Last year, sales were down five percent worldwide, while the Old Navy division was up five percent. The company plans on reducing their stores down to 800, 500 specialty stores and 300 Gap outlets. You will still be able to shop at the Gap around the world as the company is keeping about 1,600 company-operated and franchise locations in more than 50 countries.
“Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be,” says new CEO, Art Peck. Global president for Gap brand, Jeff Kirwan states, “We’re focused on offering consistent, on-brand product collections and enhancing the customer experience across all of our channels, including a smaller, more vibrant fleet of stores.”
Gap knows these changes will effect a number of employees but Kirwan says “we are confident they are necessary to help create a winning future for our employees, our customers and our shareholders.”
Let’s see if the company can turn their on-going slump around. Time will tell.