Things for Gap have gone from bad to worse. The rise of fast fashion and online retailing has wreaked havoc on their in-store sales with same store sales trending downward as much as double digits (10% this year) for years in a row. Their newest offerings have failed to make a dent in the marketplace and their line is simply too broad. With no creative director at the helm and a hectic internal scramble to set a course, things are not looking good for the industry giant as it looks to close a whopping 175 stores.
Mall locations are suffering as new outdoor and mixed-use properties lure shoppers, while their online sales, also down 2%, cannot compete with competitors offering greater diversity in their lines as well as competitive pricing. Without a plan in place, store closures may be the first of many aggressive changes the Gap will need to achieve the dominance they had some 15 years ago when they were both a cultural and marketing phenom.