The Gap has pledged $200,000 to to improve working conditions in India, where only some forms of child labor are outlawed, and it also promised to tighten its own standards. The retailer canceled half of its orders with the vendor in India that was responsible for subcontracting the workshop in which children who had been sold to the factory were working off the debt by embroidering clothing for Gap Kids.
According to OK! magazine, Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live and husband, Will Arnett, from Arrested Development are the latest celebrities to attempt to save the GAP by wearing its clothing in advertisements.
A freelance journalist has caught the GAP using child labor to produce hand embroidered clothing for its GAP Kids line. The children, who are as young as 10, are quoted as saying they were sold to the factory by their families and cannot leave until their debt is paid. A video of the factory’s squalid conditions shows GAP Kids labels on the clothing.
Even though the Gap was kind enough to address (er, refute) our reader’s observations about the Gap’s general state of crappiness, we haven’t forgotten that the store isn’t doing so well sales-wise, and it is therefore our sad duty to inform you that same store sales are down 7%.
Gap is disclosing that a laptop filled with job applicant data has been stolen. The laptop contained the personal information of 800,000 job applicants, including social security numbers.
Todd Oldham has a new job: Fixing Old Navy. According to the New York Times, Todd has been hired to attract shoppers in their 20′s, a group Old Navy has identified as their target market after years of “trying to be all things to all people.”
Mike Antonucci at the San Jose Mercury News took your complaints to the Gap’s top brass and got some interesting responses. They even responded to our editorializing about the Gap’s general state of failure with some upbeat sentences touting their own profitability. Whoops! We guess we were wrong and everything is just fine. Wait, what about the three-year sales slump, the recent layoffs, and the fact that same-store sales (the most important indicator of the health of a retail operation) have fallen in 12 consecutive quarters. Teehee! Sorry, we were sooo mean!
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.
GapKids recently featured a white, crocheted string bikini you’d likely see Anna Kournikova wearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The bikini was for a 12-month-old.
According to a tipster, this is the email address for the CEO of GAP: Bob_fisher_ceo@gap.com
Forth & Towne, designed to appeal to women between the ages of 35 and 50, was launched in August 2005. The stores featured larger, centrally located dressing rooms and were stocked with accessories, including handbags and shoes, to help women put together full outfits and drive impulse purchases.
Pressler’s penny-pinching may have turned off the Gap’s core customers. Sweaters that were once 100% cotton or wool, for example, showed up in stores as acrylic blends, and people noticed. Banana Republic tried to woo the same high-end consumers as J. Crew but didn’t go far enough in offering luxury fabrics, like cashmere, that those shoppers wanted. In 2005, while department stores couldn’t sell enough $100-plus premium jeans, the Gap skipped denim and tried to push khakis. “Pressler went too far in focusing on costs at the expense of merchandising,” says Christine Chen, senior research analyst at Pacific Growth Equities. “Sometimes you just need to go with your gut and do what makes sense to get customers in the door.”
The article also mentions the way in which stores like H&M refresh their looks faster, drawing in and keeping customers in their 20s and 30s. By the time a look hits the GAP, it’s already over, and possibly expensive for the store and unflattering for the customer (skinny jeans?)—MEGHANN MARCO
- Mr. Pressler, a former Disney executive, arrived at Gap four years ago with plans to cut costs and restore the chain’s place in the retail firmament after years of sluggish sales.
- Earlier this month two key executives, Denise Johnston, president of Gap’s adult division, and Ivy Ross, head of product design for Old Navy, left the company, bringing to 10 the number of senior executives who have vacated key spots at the company, including Kyle Andrew, vp, marketing for the Gap brand.
Dog-like sycophants that we are, we love loyalty. Especially when people are more loyal to The Consumerist than the organization that helps them have a roof over their hands. A little bird tweets into our ear about the sugar daddy who pays his bills, Gap, Inc. Looks like they had a lot of whacky doodle malarkey going on with their online shopping system this week. Looks like we got a new stoolie as well.