By JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Joining a host of several other popular retailers, Gap is planning to make major changes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The global American retailer announced it will shutter 225 of its stores by 2024 — a third of its locations. With these closures, 80% of Gap’s remaining stores will be free-standing outside of malls and a 30% drop in overall locations that will remain.
Gap Inc.’s plans are closely tied to many clothing retailers losing foot traffic in stores due to lockdowns during the pandemic. Many have also reported that shopping habits have pivoted toward online versus in-store throughout the past few months.
“We’ve been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores,” said Mark Breitbard, CEO of the Gap brand in a statement. “We’ve used the past six months to address the real estate issues and accelerate our shift to a true Omni-model.”
In addition to Gap’s store closings, the company is planning to also close 130 of it’s Banana Republic stores in North America to focus on growing e-commerce business and outlet stores.
“As result of this work, our mall-based exposure will decline meaningfully,” Gap Inc.’s chief financial officer Katrina O’Connell said in an investor presentation on Thursday, according to Business Insider. “Gap said that in 2023 roughly 80% of its revenues will come from online sales and locations outside of malls.”
Gap and Banana Republic are joining a host of other companies, such as H&M, Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, that have announced store closures.
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