Gap to Close More Than 200 Stores This Year
Gap and Banana Republic are closing 225 stores this year and may close even more locations in 2021, CNN reported. In March, Gap Inc. announced it would be closing 90 stores, but this announcement means that number has more than doubled post COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the store closures will be in malls. Over the years, the number of Gap and Banana Republic store locations have been declining, and will once again decrease in 2021.
Total Retail's Take: Like many mall-based retailers, Gap has struggled in recent years with declining store traffic and sales, and the pandemic has exacerbated the situation. Gap Inc. was forced to temporarily close most of its stores to prevent the spread of COVID-19. CNN reported that total sales across its major brands — Gap, Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic — declined 18 percent, but some of those losses were offset by a 95 percent increase in e-commerce sales. A heavier reliance on growing its digital business seems to be the future path for Gap Inc., reducing store-based costs and attracting new online shoppers to its brands in the process. One bright spot for Gap is that it has successfully started selling face masks since the pandemic began. However, it will need more than that to return to profitable growth.
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.