Gap Inc. announced earlier today that it plans to turn its focus away from Gap and Banana Republic stores and instead focus on its growing Old Navy and Athleta brands.
This shift in focus means that the company will close approximately 200 under-performing Gap and Banana Republic stores over the next 3 years and open approximately 270 Old Navy locations within the same time frame.
The news may not be surprising to many, as the brand's namesake store brand, Gap, has been reporting struggling sales for the past few years, even going so far as announcing the shuttering of 175 North American stores in 2015.
The company has been trying to re-invent its image under the leadership of CEO Art Peck since 2015, but still finds itself facing the same sales woes as many other retailers with stagnant store sales, as shoppers shift towards shopping at off-price chains and online.
"Over the past two years, we’ve made significant progress evolving how we operate – starting with getting great product into the hands of our customers, more consistently and faster than ever before," Peck said in a statement earlier today. "With much of this foundation in place, we’re now shifting our focus to growth. We will leverage our iconic brands and significant scale to deliver growth by shifting to where our customers are shopping – online, value and active."
While Gap and Banana Republic are seeing a decline in sales, Gap Inc. reports that Old Navy is on track to exceed US$10 billion in sales, and US-only brand, Athleta, is poised to surpass the US$1 billion mark over the next few years.
At this time, it's unknown how many -- if any -- of these closures or openings will impact Canada.
You can read the full press release from Gap Inc. here.