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200 Gap and Banana Republic stores are closing

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The American clothing stores of Gap and Banana Republic are closing 200 of its famous stores. The decision was made after these locations were “underperforming”. The closures come at a time when the mall and galleria industry is slowly dying due to online shopping and lack of interest.

Gap and Banana Republic were once store names that were on shoppers go to list for clothes. Now, they are making headlines again with store closures reaching 200 due to “underperformant” activity. Gap is the parenting company of Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta. Currently, there are 2,000 Gap and Banana Republic stores worldwide, the decision impacting ten percent of the business.

The closures of the stores come at a time where the future of malls and gallerias is falling. Once the place to be, or the place to shop at, is currently suffering due to online shopping and the lack of interest for these locations. Gap has declined to share where the store closures will be.

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The last few years were tough for the stores, as cheaper retailers such as H&M and Forever 21 have made competition harder with their so called “fast fashion” and lower prices. Gap spoke at a retail conference recently, saying that “creative missteps” is to blame for the company’s downfall and the inability to keep competitors below.

Still, it’s not all bad news for the company. Old Navy, which falls under it’s list of stores, had a five percent increase in sales outperforming the other two brands. Old Navy is the company’s lower priced clothing stores which had success for years. On the other hand, Gap’s sales fell one percent, while Banana Republic’s fell five.

But there is hope in all the downfall. Gap announced, in a statement posted online, that Athleta, the trendy athletic wear store, could bring in growth. With 270 Old Navy and Athleta stores to open in the next three years, the company has it’s sights on continuing to grow. It is also relying on it’s digital business which has been said to be successful.

Stephanie Valenzuela

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