GAP Inc. To Leave Shopping Malls & Close Over 200 Stores For Restructure

Marco Green
October 25, 2020

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Gap Inc. is moving away from the nation's malls.

High Street clothing store Gap is considering closing its United Kingdom stores and moving to a franchise system. Gap executives have announced that the change will not be affected immediately as the plan is to shut down the stores during the first months of 2024, ABC News reports.

After the stores are closed in 2024 there will only be 870 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America when the company had over 1,700 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America about ten years ago.

Long a fixture at malls nationwide, Gap is one of many retailers whose in-person sales have tanked during the pandemic, according to the AP. The economy has witnessed a major hit and has led the shippers to shift to shopping online, which several experts think would remain permanent.

"We've been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores", Gap brand CEO Mark Breitbard said on an investor call.

Mark Breitbard, the head of Gap's global operations, said he wanted to bolster its franchise model rather than own shops.

Gap Inc. said the move will allow it to focus on outlets and e-commerce business.

The business is undergoing a revamp, which includes the expansion of its Old Navy and Athleta brands to make up 70pc of total sales compared to the current 55pc, according to Bloomberg. The plan is to open 30 to 40 new stores in the next three years. It has about 200 stores in the U.S. Its goal is to have roughly 300.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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