Dear New Gap CEO: Here's How To Fix Your Stores

A while back we asked the readers to tell us what was wrong with Gap, INC. Since we asked, they’ve sh*tcanned their CEO, closed a chain of stores, launched new ad campaigns featuring celebrities, rethought their merchandise and…nothing has has helped.

The business continues to hemorrhage money. Starting today Gap, INC. has yet another new CEO, and this one has no apparel experience.

Here at Consumerist, we’re pro-success. In the spirit of a new beginning, we thought we’d let Glenn “Stop The Bleeding” Murphy, Gap’s new CEO, know what he needs to do to fix the Gap.

These comments were all written by you, the shopper. If Glenn wants to turn it around, he’d better listen up.

How To Fix The Gap

by The Customers Of The Gap

  • “Stop charging so much for the same shit you sell at old navy for 50% of the price.”

  • “Old Navy/Gap seem to have boring clothes, costing more than the more interesting things I find elsewhere. I’d rather have a clearance designer shirt from Lord & Taylor, than an overpriced plain t-shirt from The Gap.”

  • It seems to me to be a combination of allowing Old Navy to sell extremely similar items for much less and also offering a selection that pales in comparison to that same store. Though I have to say, I’ve been enjoying my Old Navy options less and less these past couple of years, and the quality has seemed to decline dramatically. Perhaps that’s why Old Navy isn’t doing that well either.

  • The prices are high for teens and young adults without the cachet of the Abercrombie or AE or BR label/logo. For the last few seasons, they have featured a lot of boring colors. Tans, washed-out stuff, browns, blah. Plus, I can get a similar polo shirt for a fraction of the price (for my sons) at Old Navy.

  • You can try on 6 different pairs of the same jeans in the same size, length and cut and all 6 pairs will fit differently – that kind of piss-poor quality control is why I stopped shopping at the Gap. The marketing onslaught for skinny jeans when maybe .01% of the female population actually look good in them sealed the deal. (I stopped shopping at Old Navy as well when it became clear that ultra-ultra-ultra low-rise was their starting point). I guess I’m at the age where I realize that shelling out $50 for crappy fitting clothes makes less financial sense than shelling out $80 for clothes that fit well and will stand the test of time.

  • The only reason to shop there is to be able to brag to someone else that I got this at the Gap! Same shit for half the price at Target. Plus I do most of my cloths shopping twice a year at Costco. Name brand CK, Polo, Ralph Lauren etc. and the most expensive items are still under $30.00 there.

  • I’ve found that the jeans I’ve bought there in the past went threadbare before Levi’s of a similar age would have been broken in. Also bought the only shirts I’ve ever managed to wear out the elbow of, while working a desk job.

  • Last time I went into a Gap store there seemed to be about twenty employees there.

    None of whom seemed to want to help me, despite my polite requests.

  • Low-quality fabrics, unflattering cuts, boring clothes. Also, they still make flare jeans (I’m not talking boot-cut, which are fine, but like bad retro flare). Too many whiskers and such on them as well.

  • The whole sweatshop thing bothered me when it broke a few years ago, and aside from getting $5-10 shirts and pants from the sales rack, the stuff is far overpriced.

    I have a hard time shopping there without a guilty conscience.

  • the fit at everything at the gap is RIDICULOUS! the “small” clothing has larger measurements than a “large” at clothing companies that are doing well, like american apparel. everything at the gap is short, wide, and has a “belly pouch” sewn in (ie, extra fabric so that giant bellies can hang loose). the only clothing that is fitted somewhat well with a range of sizes and fits is the women’s pants.

  • Why shop at The Gap when I can get the same quality (and better work clothes styles) at Old Navy? Or when I can go some place like Macy’s or Nordstrom’s and pay the same amount for better quality?

    On a related note, I had to laugh a few months back when they raised the prices on their skirts ~$10 and had them “on sale” for the old price.

  • I love the Gap’s clothes. I hate the Gap’s prices.
    We all know that the third-world value of those clothes are like $7 — why charge $79.99 for a fucking sweater?

  • I think the GAP has just lost its way. The GAP started as a place for everyone to shop-it was the place to bridge the generation gap. It offered basic, good quality clothes that most anyone could and would wear at reasonable prices.

    Now they don’t seem to know who they are, half of the clothes are too young and too trendy and the other half are really boring and frumpy. And all of them are far too expensive relative to the quality and what you find at other stores.

    I also think there are just too many GAP stores – there is absolutely nothing special about going into a GAP, it’s about as special as a neighborhood gas station.

  • To me, everything they sell in the GAP looks like something I might have worn or considered cute back in 1992.

  • Frankly, the middle market is disappearing. Just as the gap between rich and poor widens, most consumers are shopping either significantly more upmarket or more downmarket. There were actually days when wearing clothes from the GAP was really very hip, and the clothes were not any more expensive than they are today.

    Nowadays, the cachet clothes cost easily two or three times more than comparable clothes from the GAP. Consumers with the cash are shopping at higher end labels, and consumers with less money are not going to shell out money that will stretch their finances for brands that do not have the cachet they once held. They’ll buy clothes from Old Navy, H&M, or Zara.

  • I lost faith the day they hired Sarah Jessica Parker to shill the Gap.

    Her face looks like a foot.

  • I worked at an Old Navy for two years, and during that time, I only used my employee discount to buy things at Gap. Why? Because Old Navy’s jeans felt like sandpaper and their graphic tees (which are basically the only kind of shirt I wear) looked like they were designed by a 12-year-old who just learned Photoshop.

  • As a 29 year old female who does a lot of shopping, I have to say the Gap is one boring ass place to shop.

  • As for Old Navy….my cousin bought me a nice blue sweater with a red stripe running horizontally across the chest. Two washes later the red stripe ran pink and red all over the sweater. I’ll stick to Macy’s and JC Penny’s.

  • I hate the Gap and Old Navy because, as several other people have noted, they plaster their names/logos all over their shirts (especially Old Navy) and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for the privilege of serving as a walking billboard for a multinational corporation.

  • I hate the Gap because of that BS Audrey Hepburn commercial. That, and the Lyrcra in everything. Just try to buy a pair of non-Lycra jeans at the Gap. I dare you.

To Summarize (We know CEOs are busy):

Gap sells boring, low quality clothes at prices that are not competitive. The customer service is poor. The materials used are substandard compared to what can be purchased for the same amount of money at other retailers. The sizes are inconsistent. The styles are either boring or too trendy with nothing in between.

The brand isn’t well-regarded, and is not worth paying a premium to own. Gap, INC. logos on clothing are embarrassing to wear. The spokespeople are annoying.

Sounds like you have your work cut out for you, Glenn. Good luck!

Comments

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  1. bedofnails says:

    Reminds me of that “Flight of the Concords” song, “Think About, Think, Think Think About It.” If little children are making the shoes, why are they still so expensive? What are your overheads?

  2. lore says:

    Not a single comment about Banana Republic? I personally shop at BR far more than Gap or Old Navy, but I only buy things on sale there. Just about EVERYTHING goes on sale in about 6-8 weeks after it is released, so I just wait it out.

  3. hoosier45678 says:

    Reading the list, I was about to say “The same thing happened to me!”… then I realized it was one of my own comments from a few months ago.

  4. The Big O says:

    On the flip side, I do like Banana Republic, even if their stuff is made in sweatshops too. Have quite a bit of office wear from there. Quality seems to be pretty good too. Still over priced though. Would never think of paying for an item there isn’t on sale.

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    When you really list it all like that, it seems like a lost cause. Even if every aspect of that changed, those views of the GAP are so engrained into consumers.

    I say, change the name, overhaul the stores….hell, change the product. Start selling spagetti and blankets!

  6. lore says:

    @The Big O: Ah, yes. Glad to see another BR shopper with the same mentality. :-) And save those 10% off coupons for those big purchases!

  7. New alternatives to The Gap that have leeched their core market in descending scale of trendiness (but ascending scale practicality):

    - Express (specifically express for men)
    - Urban Outfitters
    - American Apparel
    - H&M
    - Target

    Any others to be added to the list?

    My suggestion for turning around The Gap: kill Old Navy, fold it into The Gap. But if I were running things I would never have made Old Navy in the first place. Bad idea to compete with yourself.

    @The Big O:
    I can tell from your post that you must be female; I have never seen anything on sale at BR in the mens section worth buying.

  8. ugh, scale OF practicality.

    This comment section needs a “delete” button.

  9. lore says:

    @krylonultraflat: Seriously? I buy a TON of dress shirts from BR.

  10. amypop says:

    I was extremely disappointed that they closed Forth and Towne. The clothes were far more interesting and varied than anything at The Gap, and while they were worse with vanity sizing than Old Navy — at least they had decent cuts.

    The fitting rooms were roomy and I loved the “would you like a bottle of water?” touch. I always had good customer service there, even when the stores were closing and the place was a bit of madness.

    When they closed them down, it just made me even less likely to shop at The Gap.

  11. ikimashokie says:

    Maybe Gap just needs more Outlets. Awesome clothes, awesome prices.

  12. RTFMate says:

    They used to make some nice Carpenter style blue-jeans for guys.

    Bring those back and while your bringing those back, maybe bring back some real denim.

  13. rkm12 says:

    @lore: Amen. My take is that if I need something cheap I go to Old Navy. For nice clothes that last it’s Banana Republic.

  14. joopiter says:

    @hoosier45678: I just did the same thing. :)

  15. bedofnails says:

    Maybe they use cheap denim to buy better headsets for employees.

  16. rrapynot says:

    At my local store there are usually about 6 or so employees and I am the only customer. I have to leave within minutes because of the onslaught of “Can I help you find your size?”, “Shall I start a room for you”, “Just let me know if you need help finding anything”. I just want to fucking browse and not be hasseled to death.

  17. jodles says:

    for those of us in the ny metro area, century 21 is an amazing place to shop instead of the gap. something for everyone, and most of the trendy designer clothing is cheaper than gap’s crappy khakis.

    the only items i buy at the regular gap are the project (red) stuff because it’s going towards AIDS charities. that stuff is overpriced more than everything else, but worth it nonetheless.

    the gap outlet at woodbury commons is wonderful though. everything is cheap and pretty current with the season.

  18. lore says:

    @ikimashokie: You know, that’s not a bad thought. The BR outlets suck – their clothes are ugly and the quality is pretty much “Gap” quality. I’ve found good stuff at Gap outlets before.

  19. ARP says:

    I concur with BR- good stuff, but would never pay full price. Additional comments to those listed:

    1) People know the Old Navy and BR is owned by GAP. Therefore, people will tend to think in the lowest common denominator when it comes to brand cachet. Those who are brand whores will immediately stay away.

    2) Their stuff is constantly on sale. Which is a good thing for us, but bad for the bottom line. As you can see by the posts, everybody waits until its on sale. I don’t think the number of suckers who pay full price makes up for the consumer confusion (read: you’re too expensive and go somewhere else rather than waiting for a sale) you cause with your prices. Why not adjust your full price down a bit and you’ll get a lot more sales at the “new” full price.

  20. CumaeanSibyl says:

    GAP needs to pick a sizing/style scheme for their jeans and stick to it. A while back they had jeans in curvy/regular/straight, or something like that, and the “curvy” jeans were good for my body type — most jeans gape in the back something awful for me, but those fit. And then they had to go revamp the entire scheme and I have no idea what would fit me there now. Consistency is good, guys.

  21. nardo218 says:

    I dunno that I’ve ever had problems w/ Gap customer service. My experience has been that they’re overly involved in their clothes. (I haven’t been there since high school — mid 90s — so maybe things have changed.)

    Agree that the GAP label doesn’t mean what it used to, at least in the mid-20s market. GAP was always overpriced and trendy with low quality clothes, though — but when we were teenagers, we didn’t mind that. Now, I’d rather get better clothes that aren’t made for teenagers at better prices.

  22. cyclade says:

    I miss the “old” GAP from the early-mid 90s. The place had its niche carved out, for sure — the place to get reasonable quality “basics” at a decent price. Jeans, khakis, crewneck sweaters, casual button-down shirts, pocket tees, and the like. Nothing spectacular, no wild colors or prints, but simply the backbone of many a wardrobe. When the GAP tried to go “trendy” a la H&M with more “clubby” or “hip-hop” looking stuff, it lost its way, in my opinion.

    And the quality decline is remarkable. I still have GAP jeans, khakis, shirts, and sweaters from the 90s that have held up pretty well. This is a far cry from the almost threadbare and unraveling stuff I bought there in the past year or so.

    Maybe the company went too far with the lesson of its “success” from the Old Navy venture — if you make incredibly poor quality stuff, people will still buy it by the cartload if it costs less than $19.99 a piece.

  23. ikimashokie says:

    @lore:

    I’ve gotten into the habit of buying all of my shirts at the local G.O. On a “pricey” day, they’re about 8 dollars, on a cheap day, about 6. All of them fit me well, they don’t do the “crazy fit in the boobs but have enough room in the back to smuggle illegals across the border” thing, nor do they do that “I have no boobs so I’m wearing a shirt two sizes too small so I get the wrinkles that make me look like I’ve got boobs” thing.

  24. Jamie Beckland says:

    If I were the CEO of Gap Inc., I would create a line above Banana Republic, and start to phase out the flagship Gap stores completely. As several have noted, the middle market is disappearing. And NOT the weird middle aged lady store that they tried late last year or earlier this year…Boomers do not want that frumpy stuff – they still think they are 30.

    Make the angle a bit younger – Gen X – and you will still bridge the generational divide because Boomers think young, and Gen Y is looking for legitimacy (especially pricey legitimacy).

  25. klondikedog says:

    In the last year we decided to only buy clothes at J Crew. They have excellent sales and customer service. Their sale prices are usually $30 or so for a sweater $40 for jeans. Plus their clothes last and a number of items are made in the US, Canada or Europe.

    GAP is just depressing, cheap clothes with ridiculous sales. $1.99 for a pair of leather gloves- good for me, but seriously why were they priced at $39.99?

  26. lore says:

    @ikimashokie: While I cannot relate to your boob story, I have heard of that complaint enough from female friends to know what you are talking about. ;-)

  27. bohemian says:

    The tactic of raising the price of something just to turn around and put it on sale is illegal in the state I live in.

    Price point is a mess. I occasionally see something I like at BR but the full price is a joke for what it is. I can get same or better quality at Macys or Nordstroms for the same price. BR has no name cachet.

    Old Navy used to be da bomb. It was mostly fairly well made basics in normal colors and styles. The clothes held up for years. You got good lifespan for a low price. That changed around 2002. They went to the crappy quality supposedly trendy styles. The colors suck and you can’t match them with other things in the store or your wardrobe.
    At first I thought it was because I am a 40 something that I just didn’t get the colors and styles. My teenager is disgusted with the selection and would rather shop at PacSun, Hot Topic or JcPenney. Old Navy also needs to knock off the obnoxious hassles at the register. I was at one of their big flagship stores and was asked FIVE times if I wanted to sign up for a credit card with an increasingly pushy sales pitch each time. I finally had to tell the clerk to just let me pay for my stuff or I was walking out. I also got the most bizzare hassles any time I tried to use a debit card or paper check. For both they requested a phone number to “verify” my account. Like many people we have multiple phone numbers, both cell phones, house phone, business line. I ran through every phone number we had and a few old ones and NONE of them were in their database as my phone number. My account is in good status and has never had any check writing issues. So now I can only use cash at Old Navy. Seriously all this hassle to buy cheap quality clothes. No thanks.

    I have not shopped in a Gap store in about 4 years. None of the clothes fit me and they are way over priced. The cut is just bizzare it is like everyone the fit for is short flat chested and has no butt. I really can do without the snooty attitude of the 19 year old sales staff. Sadly we never had a Fourth and Towne. That may have been more my demographic.

    Childrens Place is also a Gap store and I do find decent things for our kids occasionally. They have some of the odd colors that match nothing sometimes. There are usually at least 30% of their clothes that are still normal colors and styles. But I wait until they are on sale.

  28. DaveTyranham says:

    I think that the GAP would do well to listen to this very sound advice. I agree with 100% of it.

    I think that the core of the problem is that Old Navy has canibalized GAP by competing in the exact same space for the exact same customers. But they know this already.

    To add to the solution above and solve the GAP problem, I would follow the generation that made it popular. Focusing products, services and promotions on 30 somethings will service a strong niche.

    Completely ignore the Old Navy set of kids. Keeping things a resonable price (because we have kids) and providing stylish workwear and fun weekend wear are the way to go.

  29. cryrevolution says:

    @krylonultraflat:
    To add, Aeropostale has pretty cheap clothes. I dunno about the quality, but I buy occasionally and it lasts. I myself mainly purchase from Target, as their clothes are cheap and have good quality.

  30. geeniusatwrok says:

    there’s no reason for me to shop there anymore. I can get CK and Polo jeans for $20 at Costco and all kinds of more interesting shirts than Gap sell at TJ Max or Marshalls, and I hate hate hate being ignored by waif-y gum-snapping kids with those stupid headsets.

  31. etinterrapax says:

    My complaint is really only about the quality for the price. I have no expectations of Old Navy clothes, and think nothing of discarding and replenishing basic T-shirts every year, and they have great maternity clothes if you don’t need to buy enough stuff for, say, a dressy office. But I remember the Gap having perceptibly better quality across all of its lines. You could count on them for it, and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg. There was always something that was good day-to-day in a casual wardrobe. Now, J Crew is in that place for me. I never have to worry that something is too sexy or too dowdy, and they have a better mix of plain and fancy. If the Gap started buying higher quality, establishing consistency in sizes, and aiming to dress real thirtysomethings, as opposed to the fictitious ones they seem to think exist God knows where, they’d pick up again. Assuming anyone gave them a chance. Really, it’s no crime not to be edgy. If you want repeat sales, you have to be go-to, and they aren’t anymore.

  32. justelise says:

    I think the Gap brand has run its course. I think it should be dissolved and they should work towards bringing the quality of Old Navy clothes back to what it was up until the end of 2002 while maintaining or possibly lowering current prices.

    Banana Republic can then broaden its line, lower its prices, and offer more of the staple clothing items that the Gap did in its wake. Both of these retailers need to get their designer ducks in a row and choose cuts and fits of pants that are practical and that fit more of the population in a flattering way. Ultra low rise and skinny jeans may have some niche popularity and be flattering on a select few people, but they’re not practical for the real world. No one wants to have two or three sets of jeans and khakis because some are not appropriate for work or certain kinds of gatherings.

    Old Navy and Banana Republic also need to play to their strength. They are known for a certain kind of clothing and certain kinds of accessories. Just because some wild trend hits the streets does not mean they have to chase it down and reproduce it.

    It would also be nice if they could work harder to not support sweatshops, use some organic and renewable fibers, and extend their size offerings.

  33. Two months back, I stopped in to Gap to check out how they were turning around stuff, and I was surprised.

    They have a lot of cool stuff, especially the Red line.

    I have been there about 4 times since then, and have bought at least 4 items each time.

    Most recently they had some awesome jeans on sale for $9 [!].

    They are committed to turning it around because they even give you a website to fill out a review and once you complete it, you get a password that you can then use in the store for another 10% off.

    At the end of the survey you can leave comments or suggestions, and I posted the link to the original post that this came from.

    I am so loving the turn around.

    Seriously, you should check them out again.

    Full disclosure, I do not work for the Gap.

  34. Squeezer99 says:

    consumerist = pro success? doesn’t seem that way from all the walmart hate.

  35. hoo_foot says:

    Please please PLEASE make a similar list for Wal-Mart! I’m so sick of reading articles featuring whining Wal-Mart execs wondering why their new apparel lines didn’t attract more customers.

    Just like this post about the gap, Wal-Mart could sue a good dose of common sense!

  36. hoo_foot says:

    PLEASE make a similar list for Wal-Mart! I’m so sick of reading articles where whining Wal-Mart execs wonder why their new apparel lines didn’t boost sales. Just like the Gap, Wal-Mart management could use a good dose of common sense!

  37. hoo_foot says:

    Sorry for the double post.

  38. TexasScout says:

    They don’t call it the “Crap” for nothing…

  39. superlayne says:

    Ugh. I absolutely hate it when my family buys me T-Shirts from Old Navy. I really, really detest the chain as a whole. Nothing is work going there for.

    Just buy clothes at Target. They’re cute, they’re cheap, and last beyond their ten dollar price tag.

  40. f3rg says:

    Aeropostale for me. Their sizes fit the way they’re supposed to (small is small, med is med, and they actually have X-small for the teens) and half the store is on sale at any given time. It’s actual quite genius: sell “expensive” clothes that are in good (brand) standing with most teens and young adults, then mark them down after a week or two so we all think we’re getting an awesome deal. Last week, I bought a polo shirt there for $6 that was hanging right next to one that looked almost exactly like it for $30. Oh, and the shirt fit perfectly on my athletic frame. No logos, either.

    The last thing I bought at the Gap hung in my closet, unworn, for months until I gave it to good will.

  41. mom22bless says:

    Childrens Place isn’t run by The Gap!

  42. f3rg says:

    @Bon Jour, Pee Wee: I don’t know. Your comment reads almost like an ad. But since you give us full disclosure at the end, it’s SOOO obvious you’re just a random consumer and not an exec.

    Seriously, dude…

  43. Shmonkmonk says:

    I’ve worked for Gap Inc for two years and they’re actually a pretty good company that treats their employees pretty well so it’s a shame to see them struggle. In answer to many of your questions, it is my understanding that Gap Inc would like nothing more that to scrap the Gap brand but the daughters of the original finder is pitching a fit over that idea. Gap’s death was predicted years ago by retail analysts. They really sold themselves as the destination place for basic business casuals (such as khakis- remember those khakis commercials w/ everyone swing dancing?). and now no one really wears khakis anymore. Fashion is focusing on jeans right now and that’s something that Gap Inc never did right (across the brand).

  44. TWinter says:

    @bohemian:
    My teenager is disgusted with the selection and would rather shop at PacSun, Hot Topic or JcPenney.

    Damn, the GAP is in serious trouble if teenagers would rather shop at JC Penny.

  45. velvetjones says:

    SARAH JESSICA PARKER DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A FOOT!!!!!!!!!!

    She looks like Dee Snyder from Twisted Sister.
    (Don’t believe me? Google that shit)

    The Gap sucks, it shocks me that they never got the “comfortable is a euphemism for you look awful” memo.

  46. Ola says:

    I shop Old Navy more than the Gap; I don’t remember the last time I’ve been in a Gap. I think it was the fit that drove me away. That and it was bland. They should probably ditch the Gap and try reviving Old Navy further. ON has trendier clothes (but still a lot of basics – and they could use more).

    They could also not use Audrey Hepburn in a Gap ad again. *shudder*

  47. anjamu says:

    Funny someone should mention the whole (RED) campaign as a positive – it really turned me off of the Gap, actually.

    I was in there buying a gift, and the salesgirl asked me if I wanted to spend $3 to buy a safety pin for the (RED) campaign. There was just something about being asked to donate to charity on top of the money I was already spending that put me off – and, given the public nature of the thing, made me feel like I was being judged.

    I’ll donate to charity in my own time, but I prefer to keep it out of the mall, thanks. If they want to run a charity campaign, I don’t know, donate a percentage of all profits or something. I wouldn’t be opposed. But selling charity apparel (and safety pins) seems kind of lame and half-committed to me. And I’m sure the salespeople hate pushing it, too.

  48. suburbancowboy says:

    About 7 or 8 years ago, the gap sold ties. I got some really great ties there for work.

    I think quality has declined. I have Old Navy boxers that have outlasted my gap boxers. I had 4 pairs of gap boxers that I loved, but the elastic failed on all of them around the same time.

    Any time I am in a mall, I walk into the gap to see if there are any sales. The line is often a mile long, so I walk out.

  49. SaraAB87 says:

    I tend to shop at the more normal and un-trendy stores such as JC Pennys, Sears and Bon-ton. The one thats gone downhill most is Bon Ton whom now replaces all the brand-name clothing they used to carry with cheap china-made crap that I can buy in any other store.

    Neither my mom or I ever shop at the Gap, its considered mostly for teens who don’t know any better. The most annoying thing is the employees who stand around with their headsets and they just look like they are going to pounce on you to get you to buy something. If I am ever in that store it usually has me walking for the exit as fast as I can!

    Most teens are now shopping at Zumiez, Pac Sun, Abercrombie, Holister or Hot Topic. Old Navy and the Gap are in a very touristy mall so we consider them basically stores that tourists go to buy things on a budget. Old Navy is very cheap but I have never gotten a pair of pants to fit in there (yet I find pants one of the easiest clothing items to shop for), and I have seen WAY too many ultra ultra low rise plus size 22 jeans in there to put me off of the store forever. Who the heck would wear ultra ultra low rise jeans if they are a size 22???? Almost ALL of their shirts are branded with the Old Navy logo so even if I try to buy a plain shirt in there its impossible since everything has some type of branding on it and Old Navy certaintly isn’t a company I want to be advertising for. I do not mind wearing logos on my shirts but it has to be something that I want to advertise for.

    I can get jeans for around 19.99 or sometimes even less at stores like JC Pennys or Sears so I don’t understand why you would buy jeans at walmart because the walmart jeans actually cost more than those at other stores and are much poorer quality.

    The store that is stealing em all is Steve & Barry’s here. Jeans for under 10$, sure its made in China and probably in sweatshops but I have seen stores carry sweatshop clothes and charge a lot more for them, sometimes they have all items 6.98 or other sales, and mostly every item in there is under 10$. Plus its a huge store.

  50. andrewsmash says:

    People still shop at the gap? I figured the “generic clothing that is appropriate for work and play” thing had been taken over the likes of Target and Wal-mart. Aside from that 10% who seem to find one store that carries clothes that fit them perfectly, is there any reason to shop there? Aside from keeping people who desperately want to be hip employed, why does that chain exist?

  51. morganlh85 says:

    My suggestion — PLUS SIZED CLOTHING. Something like half of America is overweight these days. To your surprise, we plus-sized people like to wear clothing as well, and our money works in the same fashion as skinny people. GAP currently offers size 18 and 20 clothing, but only online, not in the store. Too much of a hassle for my tastes. If GAP stopped ignoring half of their possible consumer base, maybe they would make some money.

  52. SmoovyG says:

    I’ve avoided The Gap like the plague ever since they screwed up their jeans sizing so bad they all either fall right off or nuthug to an uncomfortable degree. I flipped to Old Navy, but their jeans aren’t any better, surprise, surprise. Right now Steve & Barry’s is the place to go for affordable bordering on cheap clothes that are a decent enough quality.

  53. justagirl612 says:

    Hi Everyone – This is a great website, thoughful entries and very interesting coments. One thing that brings me to comment are the numerous comments about Gap and sweatshops. While I am not versed in Gap’s history with sweatshops earlier than 2003 (I was not an employee at the time), I do know now, as an employee, that Gap issues a Social Responsibility Report and keeps very close tabs on the factories that it does business with. As a matter of fact Gap’s standards are higher than many of its competitors. If you want to be updated on Gap’s enormous progress in this area, please go the Gap Inc website and read the Socil Responsibility report. By the way, I know I work for a company that is far from perfect, I haven’t taken a sip of the corporate kool-aid. I just believe that when a company makes a positive, responsive turn-around in a very important area, that that work should be recognized.

  54. nffcnnr says:

    Why is almost everything sold at the Gap and Old Navy look like it’s been in the bottom of a coed’s laundry bag for 2 semesters?? WTF?
    However, Old Navy is a great source for plain ringer tees @ $6 apiece. i create my own designs, print them on those iron-on transfers and there ya go! A t-shirt so freakin’ cool that no one else in the world has it. sweet. Thanks Old Navy! *wink*

  55. sam says:

    my biggest problem with the GAP is that they used to be all about the “basics”. Jeans (heck, I remember the days when they sold Levis!), Khakis, Ts. But then they started “changing” the basics every season.

    Find a pair of jeans that fit perfectly? guaranteed that next year, when you need a new pair, they’ll have gotten rid of that style (and this goes double for the underwear and bras – the type of items that women will buy multiples of and replacements on a regular basis – WHY would you get rid of styles that repeatedly sold out due to popularity?).

    The clincher for me was when they got rid of a lot of their “staples” section a few years ago and replaced it with “trying too hard to be trendy” items like fluorescent blue leather pants (and shorts!). That sat on the racks for months because they were just so incredibly horrendous.

    Oh, and the stuff falls apart pretty quickly too. I still buy sweaters online, and one I got last month, which I’ve only worn twice, already has a hole in it.

  56. @f3rg: Yah, I knew it would come off sounding like a PR Mole, so that’s why I disclosed that.

    I actually work in Telcom.

  57. jydesign says:

    Regarding other options – after wandering a Gap unimpressed a while back, my wife and I checked out a Charlotte Russe store. They had a lot of fun, stylish, sexy stuff and some of it was very affordable. We got her a lot of stuff and it was not the usual hohum slide into adult-hood yawning stuff we left behind in the Gap.

    Also, totally agree with comments that Old Navy is killing Gap with it’s overlap and prices. If Gap isn’t cheap and it’s not BR, then what the heck is it?

  58. AlphaWolf says:

    I was buying nothing but Banana Republic for a while, although almost always sale items with some exceptions. The quality is good.

    Ok, so I do not dress the same way on weekends as I do during the week at work. Duh! Still the BR staff does not have to walk around with the look of indifference to me.

    I could pay a lot less and be ignored at Nordstrom Outlet, and lately I have been there instead.

  59. SenorBob says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with the Gap.

    On the one hand, I have been to every store imaginable and tried on at least 50 pair of jeans, and yet the ones at the Gap are the only ones that look good. Of course, it’s only one particular style of jeans, but that’s ok. They look FABULOUS!

    On the other hand, they fall apart in less than a month. I’m not talking about the fabric wearing thin here, I’m talking about the leg ripping completely across the back the second time I wore them.

    Another issue? When you do find a style that flatters, it is guaranteed that they will change and/or discontinue them before you’ve had a chance to go back for another pair. Long and lean jeans? They were wonderful. They fit like a glove and made your butt look awesome. Then they had to go and redesign them so that they now stick out a good 4 inches at the back of the waist. Not pretty, especially when you sit down.

    I bought 2 pair of the Flare jeans three months ago. They were wonderful. Unfortunately, they don’t carry them anymore and the ones I just bought are ripped and torn and completely unwearable.

  60. anonymoustached says:

    Before the proliferation of several ‘gap’ imitators came to fruition in the mid-90’s, GAP was a forerunner for fun clothes. I used to think of GAP as a destination for casual professional wear. Old Navy is the low-runner of cheap clothing for the masses, while Banana Republic is on par with the higher end of mass produced clothing. GAP, being the genesis of these two other brands has become the lost middle child. I think to remain competitive, GAP should focus on trendy clothes like H&M.
    If you need clothes to fix your car or build furniture, go to Old Navy. If you need clothes for the office, go to Banana Republic. But if you want clothes for the evening and on the weekends and holidays, GAP would be the destination. Stock lime greens, cyan, magenta, hot orange and pink. Hire relevant designers to do several lines. And maintain only those GAPs that are within the metropolitan hotspots. Become THE destination for apparel for bright minded independent thinkers. Great details, great wear.