Discount apparel brand Old Navy will add 60 more stores across the U.S. this year, pushing its total to more than 1,000 locations. Gap Inc., which owns Old Navy as well as the flagship Gap banner, Banana Republic and Athleta, currently operates more than 3,500 stores globally. Meanwhile, Gap Inc. is trimming back its fleet of Gap and Banana Republic stores, which haven't performed as well as Old Navy and Athleta of late. The moves are part of the retail organization's updated growth strategy announced late last year, which called for roughly 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores to close by 2020. In addition to opening new locations, Old Navy will also be remodeling roughly 150 stores over the next few months.
Total Retail's Take: Old Navy has helped Gap Inc. weather some challenging times, as its namesake brand and Banana Republic have been dealing with lackluster sales and profits — not unlike many other traditional brick-and-mortar fashion retailers. Old Navy competes in a category, off-price retail, that has been a bright spot in the industry in recent years, with retailers such as T.J. Maxx, Ross Stores, Burlington Coat Factory and others winning a greater share of consumers’ wallets. In order to keep pace with its competitors, many of which don't have e-commerce sites, Old Navy will be growing its physical store footprint, a rarity in today's retail environment. Perhaps the retail store store isn't dead (not that it ever was).