Gap Preps for Critical Back-to-School Season
Gap, the beleaguered apparel chain, is scrambling to regain its footing during the all-important back-to-school (BTS) season. The retailer has been under consistent pressure to reverse sliding sales, though it's seen recent glimmers of progress. Core to Gap's struggles is an identity crisis, both in merchandise and marketing, as well as in brand voice. With consumers awash in messaging and apparel choices, many are searching for strong values reflected in the retailers they choose to shop. Gap simply hasn't passed the test.
Total Retail's Take: Gap enters the second biggest shopping season of the year in a tenuous position.The 2015 holiday season wasn't kind to Gap (to say the least), and that momentum continued into the first quarter of the year, with the company reporting a 6 percent decline in net sales year-over-year. Yet there have been glimmers of hope recently, including a 2 percent gain in same-store sales in June. The BTS season should be a good barometer to judge whether some of Gap's recent changes have taken hold and consumers are indeed coming back to the brand, or if the plunge into the abyss continues.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.