China's Rocking Though
Gap leaving a gap, closing 21 percent of its stores: Will local spots be on thehit list?
Gap will be downsizing by 21 percent in North America over the next three years—going from 889 stores to 700 by 2013.
Simultaneously, the brand will expand its outlet stores and its market abroad. Especially in Asia, where Gap will triple its storefronts in China from 15 to 45 by the end of 2012.
Arthur Peck, president of Gap's North American business, blames the company's decline on the individual stores, some of which are "tired and worn out."
"I’ll be the first to say that our stores have not been executing with the consistency that they need to execute at in order to deliver the kind of brand experience that we are committed to delivering," Peck said at the company’s investor conference on Thursday.
The company's release claims that Gap "is making progress on its goal of reducing square footage in North America and is on track to achieve a 10-percent reduction in overall store square footage by fiscal year 2012." This idea of "improving productivity" in company real estate seems to put a positive spin on a grim financial outlook.
After Gap'slogo fiasco in October of last year, and many seasons of used styles and unflattering fits, I have given up on everything but their denim. But the release promises that the company recognizes its recent failures: "Customers will see product improvements starting in spring with more color, emotion and clearer points of view."
The company says that will look "store by store" over the next 26 months to see which ones are performing and which will be closed.
Are you concerned that your neighborhood store may be on the nix list?