Gap Trying to Make Money by Closing U.S. Stores, Expanding East


Patrick Robinson can't make the Gap cool again all on his own. That would be like convincing the Pussycat Dolls to wear fabrics that breathe — not a one-man job. Robinson has spiffed up the clothing Gap sells, but they're still not selling as much of it as they need to, and their investors aren't pleased. So yesterday Gap executives held a meeting for Wall Street analysts to talk about how they're going to turn their brands (Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy) into ones consumers want to spend money on. Gap CEO Glenn Murphy said the company would strive for consistency in "product aesthetic." Also, they're going to stop wasting so much space, real-estate-wise, and put GapBody and babyGap products in adult stores. We know — store closures are shocking these days, but we are tired of stores that put the same pair of pants on seven different racks in attempt to make it seem like they are actually different kinds of pants.

But proving that when one door closes, another opens, Gap plans to expand abroad with new stores in Greece and Moscow, and possibly China, India, or other places "east of France." Glad to see they're finally catching on to the profitability of Eastern expansion. It happened at about the same rate they realized their pre-Robinson khakis were dowdy. But hey, at least they're consistent.

Consistency Is Key for Gap [WWD]