One In Three Gap Stores In U.S. Will Be Closed By End Of 2013

Earlier today, the folks at once-mammoth clothing retailer Gap Inc. announced plans to shutter even more of its namesake Gap stores in the U.S. over the next 14.5 months, bringing the total number of stores to only 700 by the end of 2013.

The company say this is down 34% from the number of Gaps in the U.S. in 2007. There are no details yet on which stores will be getting the chop.

As for Old Navy, the future isn’t about necessarily closing stores but shrinking stores:

[T]he 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.

Meanwhile, like many struggling big-name American brands, Gap is gambling on the developing market overseas. In China alone, it hopes to double its number of franchise stores to 400 in the next two years.

GAP INC. DEMONSTRATES STRONG INTERNATIONAL AND ONLINE
GROWTH AT ANNUAL INVESTOR MEETING
[PDF]

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  1. IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

    only 700? how many off-brand yet overpriced clothes do we need? if they want the business, try not selling 50 cent jeans at 2000-5000% markups….

    • MadameX says:

      Right? The last time I went into Gap, I was shocked to see their jeans priced at $80-90 a pair. I can buy designer brands for half that price at stores like Ross or TJ Maxx…

      • Snaptastic says:

        I prefer to search the rack at Goodwill and find myself a pair of jeans for $2.

        • IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

          Lol I take both of your cakes, I just drop into Kohls/Macys every few months and buy up all the overpriced dress shirts for $5-10 and pants at $10-20 on the clearance rack, not following “trends” is brilliant, I have worn SAME EXACT business casual clothes at minimal markup for over 10 years while the lemmings at AF pay as much for 1 “in” shirt as I do for everything down to the shoes …as a bonus people great me with “sir” not “hey douche”

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            This is going to be my new approach. My boss told me that she makes a “hobby” of shopping. Instead of just trying to find a bunch of stuff at once, she shops on sale racks, at clearance centers, discount stores like Marshall’s, and second hand stores pretty much weekly. She has the same clothing budget, she just spends less per item and takes her time and is selective.

            I really am sick of overpriced crap.

            • IgnoramusEtIgnorabimus says:

              it is quite brilliant, the stores are essentially forced to keep the clearance section to keep the tards thinking that something has changed in the means of covering up your genitals and the things there are perfectly subtle, quality items without any imperfections, they simply get “outdated” because the “new” item has a stitching with a slightly different pattern from last year and now its “retro cool” the part that amuses me the most is that I am guaranteed to be fashionable every few months completely by accident, just find myself downtown and everyone of the lemmings is dressed like me… actually, its kinda creepy as if the whole city is in on some joke and i’m on candid camera since I don’t know about it till it happens

            • Willow16 says:

              This is exactly what I did last year when looking for a prom dress for my daughter. I have always had good luck at Lord & Taylor and that was where I got her dress. In the clearance rack were two beautiful, $300 dresses in her size. The tags said $88 and $98. I bought both intending to return one but when I got to the register, there was an additional 65% off. The dresses were $30 and $34. We kept the one she liked and sold the other one to a friend. While I was willing to pay $98 for a dress, I was even happier to pay $34.

  2. carlathecommander says:

    I used to shop at Gap all the time. Now, it’s the same price as years ago, but all the friggen shirts and see-thru and pants stretch out. They try to woo me with 40% off, but I can find better quality at other stores.

    • merkin says:

      Their men’s stuff is better right now than it has been in the past few years. In fact the polo shirts are much better quality than those at Land’s End or L.L. Bean and a lot cheaper, too.

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        I hope you’re in a times zone where it is close to 5pm, if not you are drinking way to early in the day.

        • springboks says:

          Perhaps it’s a Gap employee. You can find better clothing at Wal-Mart or Target. GAPs days are numbered.

    • Willow16 says:

      My husband used to buy his jeans at The Gap but the quality went down hill quite a while ago. Within months of buying them, the belt loops would come off. Now he buys them at Marshall’s – much better quality and they cost a lot less.

  3. FreeMarketFan says:

    I used to buy stuff at the Gap until their product and selection went down hill and fast.

    So for now it’s Express For Men , Macy’s and Jos A Banks

  4. ChickenLips says:

    20+ years ago, it was all the rage to wear The Gap’s “alternative” preppy style. But they had quality to back it up. Now you can get their bland styles anywhere for way less, and their quality is shot. Americans are tired of getting ripped off buying overpriced Made in China low quality. Now the Chinese can buy their own crap.

  5. u1itn0w2day says:

    Gap still around with their 40 dollar jeans?

  6. agent 47 says:

    I only wear clothes because I’m legally obligated to (not to mention upstate NY weather). Therefore, I refuse to pay more than $20 for jeans or $11 for a shirt. Why $11? Teefury, that’s why.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      My husband has built a fantastic wardrobe on $10-20 clearance merchandise at department stores. He does have a pair or two of $50 pants that he wears a lot, but 90% of his wardrobe is clearance.

  7. Cat says:

    Gap is gambling on the developing market overseas. In China alone, it hopes to double its number of franchise stores to 400 in the next two years.

    Yes, I’ve known for years that Asian Gap is where it’s at.

    http://dadsaretheoriginalhipster.tumblr.com/post/6389592311/your-dad-was-into-asian-women-before-you-were-and

    • McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

      ‘Your dad is the white rice in your mom’s stir-fry.’

      That is a fine link, good sir.

  8. blogger X says:

    Their clothing quality has tanked the last couple of years, I bought a trench coat (that’s what they called it) last year and the material felt like a trash bag, in addition to it being greatly oversized.

  9. Tim says:

    I guess when the store leaves it location, all that’s left will be a …

    *put on sunglasses*

    … gap.

  10. Drywall says:

    Further proof that the American middle class is no longer necessary.

    http://www.byrnecreative.com/blog/2011/06/memo-to-the-middle-class/

    • HomerSimpson says:

      Yup…big business is writing this country off little-by-little.

      Anyone who doesn’t see this is obviously blind or ignorant.

    • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

      So with the rich writing the rules, how are we going to change the rules more in favor of the middle class?

  11. El_Fez says:

    So . . . .we’ll have a Gap gap?

  12. Rebecca K-S says:

    The last time I set foot in Gap was nearly four years ago, and I came out with a pair of jeans that essentially disintegrated within a few months. So… whatever.

    • mauispiderweb says:

      Yeah, when did their nice, thick, tough denim material turn into chiffon?

    • Snaptastic says:

      While we are on the subject, can we also talk about Victoria’s Secret panties? The cotton ones used to be nice and sturdy, but now they are thin, flimsy cotton that will not last long at all (and annoyingly, they cannot stay on my hip for the life of me).

  13. Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

    Here’s hoping to see 3 out of 3 gap stores close not much later…

  14. ARP says:

    My issues:

    1) Inconsistent sizing- You could by three pairs of the same jeans and they’d all fit differently.

    2) Quality control- They fall apart. I had a gap sweashirt that I bought in 1995 finally fall apart on me. Now that same sweatshirt, wouldn’t last more than a year.

    3) Sizing descriptions- They’re doing what a lot of American brands are doing and “upsizing” everything to make people feel thinner. I don’t think I should be wearing an XS.

    4) Fit- most of their stuff fits like a paper sack. I admit they are now finally getting more “fitted” and tailored stuff, but they still have a ways to go.

    5) Price- I haven’t bought anything from any of the Gap branded stores at full price in 10 years. I’m not paying $50 for a dress shirt from the gap, when I can get one from Nordy’s for another $10.

    • cowboyesfan says:

      I’ve been buying my sweat shirts at Walgreens – 3/$10!

    • Christopher Wilson says:

      The prices are horrible. If I really like something I walk up to old navy and get the same thing for 1/3rd the price.

    • veritybrown says:

      Better to make the sizes smaller than bigger, the way Walmart has done with their women’s clothing brands. When everything is now labeled an entire size larger than it used to be, one gets the impression that the decision-makers must be skinny little bitches who are pouring on the hate (sadly like a significant portion of Consumerist posters) for any female with a typical post-children/post-menopause figure.

  15. Robofish says:

    They have some decent clothes but most of it for guys tends to be the same colors. However, their khakis rule. Lately most of my shopping has been done at Kohl’s, Marshalls, Target and when I can afford it Nautica (love their polos!)

    I used to work for Old Navy, and the last time I was there it was insane to me to see them selling licensed shirts for Marvel and bands. Curious to know if this downsizing of the stores will be the company changing the layouts or if it just means that they will move the stores to smaller spaces.

    • Round-Eye 外人はコンスマリッストが好きです。 says:

      This. Being this is Consumerist, the majority of the comments will be (and are) “I can’t wait for Gap to fail blah blah blah bitch gripe moan”. I can’t really disagree as I only ever really buy khakis there. But their khakis hold up really well. And I think they look great. Wearing some right now, even.

  16. Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

    Good riddance. My wife worked for a few months for Athleta, the Gap-acquired women’s clothing store. She was hired, along with a number of other late 20s to mid 40s woman, to be a more mature, knowledgeable sales crew to serve the upper class, 40+ demographics they are shooting for. They paid just over $11 an hour, with the promise of a bonus after 6 months if they beat the projected sales numbers for the month, which they consistently did. Well, after working there for 6 months, she qualified for the “bonus”, a whopping $99.00. They also rewarded her with a 13 cent/hour “raise”. After being treated like some kind of minimum wage beginner by one of the managers, constantly being told to keep moving even when there was NOTHING to do, treated like a shoplifter with security searches, never getting more than 30 hours a week, even after other people quit and they started hiring new women to fill the hours, she quit. The 13 cent/hour was really the kicker. BTW, the expensive merchandise they sell is pretty sketchy in quality…she was constantly taking back garments that were losing buttons, bad stitching, etc. I feel bad for the guy who started Athleta as a good quality line of womens sportswear/yoga clothing. He had the line made decently. Like a majority of previously trusted brands that get bought up by big corporations the Gap sold out Athleta’s name to sub-standard manufacturing in China. Am I just a little bitter? Yes…I am.

    • smo0 says:

      I got a one time 11 cent raise when I worked for Citi (I worked there for 3 years… )

      Yet they still exist and have a customer base…. now, you were saying something about bitter?

    • LMA says:

      Uh, I gotta tell you, as someone with 19 years experience in retail, $11/hour to start, and 13 cents more an hour *is* a significant raise especially after six months. Likewise, $100 bonus after six months? That’s excellent. Clearly you and your wife both have unrealistic expectations of how much you can earn in a non-commissioned retail career.

      • Carlos Spicy Weiner says:

        Yes, that was the problem…unrealistic.In all the other sales jobs she had she made more, but I understand low pay to start. However, to hire new people to work the hours the people who quit left open, and tell my wife and other employees who wanted more hours they couldn’t? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just hire fewer new “fill-ins” and take advantage of people who are ALREADY trained and are willing to work more?

  17. KCBassCadet says:

    Gap clothing is atrocious. The men’s clothes look exactly like the men’s clothes they sold 5 years ago. Everything is over sized and poorly tailored, apparently they are marketing to only fat people now. Their blue jeans are terrible (and always have been, IMHO) the prices are much higher than they should be for such poorly-made, boring clothes.

  18. runchadrun says:

    JCPenney Arizona jeans FTW! You can often get them for under $20 and they last much longer than anything Gap or Old Navy sell.

  19. smo0 says:

    I have a pair of decent gap pants I bought for around 50$….

    sure there’s better out there, but its still a decent price for relatively decent clothes …. sad to see more jobs lost.

  20. tinmanx says:

    Gap is Old Navy style clothing at Banana Republic price. Why does it exist?

  21. kataisa says:

    I guess that “redesigned logo” publicity stunt they pulled a year ago didn’t help sagging sales.

  22. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Gap’s selection has gotten really poor, and the clothes aren’t what they used to be. I used to go in there and buy nice, stylish, basic pieces that “carried” my wardrobe and lasted forever. Now they have a bunch of trendoid junk that falls apart in a year or so. And, they are recycling styles. I saw a shirt I got 4 years ago in there last month.

    I also agree that prices are way too high for the quality. I am going to start going to second hand stores and cheaper stores like Kohl’s for clothes. Going in a store with $200 and coming out with 2-3 things is outrageous. If those things lasted for 5 years, it would be worth it, but since the quality is crap, it simply isn’t worth it at all.