該公司表示，今年有140間Gap同名品牌分店關閉，不涉及Gap Outlet。至於其他子品牌Banana Republic、Old Navy、Intermix及Athleta也不受影響。未來北美地區將剩下800間Gap品牌分店。
》A&F的輝煌日子已煙消雲散 | Nothing Seems To Be Working For Abercrombie & Fitch
》時裝品牌 Mexx 宣告破產
Gap closing 175 stores to be more 'vibrant'
Gap announced Monday it will close a quarter of its stores and cut 250 corporate jobs as it tries to chart the clothing brand back toward growth.
The company will close 175 stores across North America, not including outlets or factory stores, based on store performance. There will be additional store closures at European locations. About 140 stores will close this year. Gap will continue to operate about 500 Gap stores, plus 300 outlet stores.
Gap has been struggling to entice customers amid competition from fast fashion brands. Same-store sales fell 10% in the first quarter, compared with a 5% drop in the year-ago quarter.
"We're focused on offering consistent, on-brand product collections and enhancing the customer experience across all of our channels, including a smaller, more vibrant fleet of stores," said Jeff Kirwan, global president for Gap, in a statement.
The store closures are part of a larger trend by mall-based brands to reduce store locations, says Simeon Siegel, retail equity analyst at Nomura. Macy's, J.C. Penney, Deb Shops, RadioShack, Sears and Wet Seal are all among brands that have or are planning to close stores.
"It's more a continuation of what's already been going on," Siegel says. "Your biggest competitor used to be your neighbor in the mall. Right now your biggest competitor is the infinite number of random start-up websites. You just don't need as many bricks and mortar locations."
Gap declined to say how many employees will be affected by the store closures. Spokesman Sean Piazza says the company is still defining which locations will close. Piazza also declined to say how many people work at the company's corporate offices, where 250 jobs will be cut, primarily in New York and San Francisco.
The corporate cuts are about increasing productivity and efficiency in decision making, Piazza says.
"This came out of an evaluation of the business," he says. "It allows the brand to focus on key store locations, drive productivity and also speed within our headquarters locations."
Gap expects to lose about $300 million in sales due to the store closures and incur one-time costs of $140 million to $160 million on things like lease buyouts and writing off inventory.
Gap stores have experienced slumping sales in the past year as fashions have failed to drive traffic. Creative director Rebekka Bay was let go in January, and the company eliminated her position, instead relying on a senior design team.
"Right now they're basically like a ship without a captain," says Jessica Bornn, a senior analyst with retail research firm Merchant Forecast. "There's no major creative design force behind the collection. They haven't interpreted any of the trends of the season."
Bornn views the store closures as a positive for the brand, which she says has too many locations in underperforming malls.
"The number of stores a retailer should have today as a mature chain has changed," she says. "Maybe by increasing the scarcity, that can start to improve and drive traffic to the stores."
Original Article: USA Today