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Gap to Cut North American Stores by a Third

| October 13, 2011
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From San Francisco-based Gap-Inc. today, two sides of the same coin:

  • Gap to Add Dozens of Stores in China (Wall Street Journal)

    Gap Inc. on Thursday detailed its ambitions for growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy and an increasingly important destination for many retailers. The casual-apparel retailer expects to have roughly 45 stores in China by the end of fiscal 2012, and expects to double its franchise …

  • Gap to Cut 34% of Namesake U.S. Stores (Bloomberg)

    Gap will reduce its North American namesake stores to about 700 by the end of 2013, a 34 percent decrease from the count at the end of 2007, Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Simmons said today at an investor meeting in New York.

Here’s the full press release (pdf) today, in which the news about the North American closings is fairly buried:

Improving productivity of North American real estate: The company is making progress on its goal of reducing square footage in North America and is on track to achieve a 10 percent reduction in overall store square footage by fiscal year 2012, when compared to 2007. At Gap, the company is committed to rebalancing its specialty and outlet stores within North America, resulting in about 700 Gap specialty stores and about 250 Gap Outlet stores by year end 2013. This represents a 34 percent decrease in the Gap specialty store fleet when compared to the end of 2007. At Old Navy, the brand’s strategy is to have roughly the same number of stores in North America with a smaller footprint. The brand plans to continue downsizing its fleet in North America, and expects to potentially remove another 1 million square feet by fiscal year end 2013.

Shares are flat as of right now.

Update: Apparently Gap CEO Glenn Murphy had already announced these plans back in June, at an analyst conference.

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