Goodbye, Forth & Towne, We Hardly Knew You…

What the heck is Forth & Towne, you ask? It was the GAP’s 4th brand. Get it? No? It hardly matters, because they’re closing it anyway. From USA Today:

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.

“We made the tough decision to close the brand and focus our efforts on stabilizing the existing businesses,” Robert Fisher, Gap chairman and interim chief executive, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the GAP continues to hemorrhage money. —MEGHANN MARCO

Gap shutting down Forth & Towne chain [USA Today]


Edit Your Comment

  1. kerry says:

    I stopped in this store a couple of times. Didn’t like the clothes, but the dressing rooms were very nice. They also gave out free bottled water.

  2. any such name says:

    what i want to know is – when do the clearance sales start??

    i got a flyer in the mail for 15% off on saturday. oops.

  3. armishanks says:

    I did like the subliminal message in the name, though. Forth & Towne = FAT.

  4. Maulleigh says:

    I was excited about this store. Gap is based in SF and they didn’t even open a store there!! I couldn’t believe it. It sucked.

  5. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    This story makes me very sad. I have only been to Forth & Towne once, but during that visit my roommate and I received incredible customer service with the added benefit of being able to buy clothes that actually fit our non-anorexic bodies! I tried on pants in “my size” and they actually fit in the waist, hips and thighs; something that doesn’t happen at The Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, or any other mainstream store. In fact, they’re the first pair of pants in a long time that I haven’t had to get altered by my seamstress. I will miss you, Forth & Towne! Weird spelling and all.

  6. fairywench says:

    I went in one once. I’m 46, and my immediate thought was “Oh, old lady clothes!”

    Then I went over to The Limited and bought some clothes. When will retailers realize that over 35 does not mean “No longer has any desire to look like a woman”?

  7. joopiter says:

    Grrrrr. It figures that the store in the GAP family that had quality clothes at reasonable prices that actually fit real female bodies would be the one to close down. I don’t even bother to try on stuff in Gap or Old Navy anymore, knowing that they will either fit wrong or will fall apart in a month. But Forth & Towne? That was a happy shopping experience.

  8. QuirkyRachel says:

    I didn’t think that they actually opened that many locations of Forth and Towne. I went in there once. They had nice clothes, but I thought they were a tad pricey. Oh well.

  9. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    @fairywench: Is it possible that we went to two different stores? I am 29, and found many articles of clothing in Forth & Towne that satisfied my need for work clothing that is stylish, but doesn’t look like it came from Forever 21 (which seems to exist only to prepare teenagers for prostitution). I got some basics at F&T, while my roommate bought some very funky yet still classy clothes. I enjoy a store that lets me buy tops that don’t expose miles of cleavage, it’s a definite plus in my book!

  10. eeebee says:

    I had no idea that this store was for 35-50 year old women. Maybe a little more marketing would have helped. I don’t even go into stores that I’m not familiar with because I figure they’ll just have skinny jeans and belly shirts. This is definitely my age group and nobody told me. I would have shopped there but my friends are all trying to be MILF’s with low cut jeans and high-heeled shoes so they didn’t shop there either. Guess I’ll stick to Talbot’s.

  11. Metschick says:

    Gap’s still hemorraging money? That’s because I seem to be the only person who shops there. And I don’t even shop for myself, I just buy clothes for my almost 2 year old. Love their baby clothes, but their adult clothes is totally boring.

    And I never saw or heard of this store.

  12. itmustbeken says:

    The irony here is that 4th and Townsend is the location of the former home of Banana Republic (another Gap brand) here in San Francisco.
    During the earthquake, the building collapsed and killed 3 people. I see a connection here…

    This is the second ‘upscale’ brand the Gap has closed. Their Hemisphere line closed in the 90s after horrible sales (and they didn’t promote that one either). However, their clearance sale was AMAZING! Line up now gals!

  13. Amry says:

    I’m confused at the commenter who thought Forth and Towne looked “old lady”. I’m in my mid-20s and loved most of the lines at Forth and Towne. Chico’s it was not.

    Anyway, I believe the chain had somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 stores, with 5-10 new store openings scheduled this spring. I’m wondering how this news affects those new stores. Don’t get too excited about clearance sales, though: since they’re planning to stay open through June or July and can’t own much inventory as a brand I can’t imagine they’d have that much extra to sell off.

    And finally, I’m very sad that to save Gap and Old Navy, Gap Inc has had to sabotage what could have become the next great customer-focused brand. Here’s to hoping the money saved is re-invested in payroll and training to bring a little of F&T into those brands.

  14. katewrath says:

    I gotta back up my F&T lovin’ sisters. I all but wept tears of joy when a branch opened up in L.A. I had, only months earlier, ransacked the city for a dress shirt–cotton, silk, what do I care?–that would fasten over my lady pillows, but not hang off me like a muu muu.

    Every clothing store in town–including, I am sorry to say, Brooks Brothers–stocked only “slim-fit” shirts, in keeping with the recent trend for a long, slim shirt and low-rise jeans. Nothing wrong with that look if you’re built for it, but I’m not. (34 D, if you must know.) And many others are not either, judging by the racks and racks of sale shirts at J. Crew, B. Republic, etc.

    I will *not* dress like some horrific stereotype of a nigh-menopausal school counselor, in ethnic jewelry and roomy jumper! No Chicos, no Eileen Fisher, no Sigrid Olsen! But when the LA store closes in July (I stopped by to ask, and I was hardly the only one–I heard the same question asked five or six times while I was browsing), so will a little part of my soul.

  15. BillyShears says:

    Maulleigh says:
    I was excited about this store. Gap is based in SF and they didn’t even open a store there!! I couldn’t believe it. It sucked.

    Don’t come downtown much, do you? There’s a F&T right in the mall on Powell and Market.

  16. cgmaetc says:

    I know this is late but I just got hold of the CEO’s email addy yesterday from a former GAP employee:

    Be sure to hurl many complaints his way.