Hey Shoppers: Apparently, You Still Hate The Gap

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%.

Within the Gap empire, the numbers seem to mirror the sentiments expressed in our comments:

Gap is down 10%, Old Navy missed by 8%, and Banana Republic is only down 2%.

All three were worse than analysts expected. Does this mean that “reducing the number of styles in our stores to make it easier for our customers,” didn’t work? Or maybe it was the string bikinis for toddlers that drove the shoppers away?

Oh well,Todd Oldham to the rescue!

UPDATE: Gap Sales Drop Below Forecasts; Shares Dip[CNNMoney]

PREVIOUSLY: Old Navy Hires Todd Oldham As Creative Director
Why Do You Hate The Gap? The Gap Responds To Your Complaints
Dear New Gap CEO: Here’s How To Fix Your Stores
String Bikinis: Now Available for Toddlers!
Goodbye, Forth & Towne, We Hardly Knew You…


Edit Your Comment

  1. vaxman says:

    BOO Gap Yay Marks Work Warehouse

  2. amoeba says:

    I don’t hate the GAP, but I do agree that their clothes are crappy, it was a long, loooong time when I got a pair of crappy jeans. I would say I hate Old Navy because it is the main store where I live. So, is equally the same thing (clothes) they only change the logos and the tags.

  3. Trevor says:

    Perhaps if Gap Brands realized that the equity of the Gap Brand itself was nil and dragging down and draining funds on what could possibly be two stellar brands- Old Navy and Banana Republic- they would have a chance. Navy used to have cute, memorable commercials and basically Gap clothing at a reasonable price..and that worked for a while because it was kept fresh and affordable. Now Navy just sells the same crap over and over again…any idiot can tell you that doesn’t work. You have to be constantly innovating and gleaning your brand in the eyes of your customers.

    As for Banana, while overpriced, they clearly aren’t suffering as much as Gap is. If Gap could slough off the Gap name, they could drive money and innovation into these two stronger brands that don’t nearly have as much of a taint as Gap does. Sure Banana could lower its prices some, in fact I don’t know anyone who purchases their stuff when it’s NOT on sale, but their stuff is attractive and classic. So there you have it, two brands that compliment one another- Old Navy, cheap, younger (tween-teen) and hip and Banana, upscale, young-midlifers (25-40) who are successful and career oriented…Gap just doesn’t fit it, what IS Gap, what’s its reason? Kill it and let the others thrive.

  4. Anonymous says:

    gap stands for gay and proud. lol

    i hate any company that tries to use a charitable cause to make a profit….. how much is national advertising again? and that “red” campaign? if they want to donate money then they should just do what consumers do, whip out your check book. i mean they spent millions in advertising their “cause” which probably only rasied thousands. not to mention they wouldn’t be specific about how much actually goes to the cause.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @Trevor: well if your like me, i’m a hard fit. so to me, name brands don’t mean squat. i want something that fits, and looks good, at a reasonable price. i was actually at old navy today. got 3pr of cargos 24.95 each, 2 polos 7.99 each, and one more polo that was only 3.99! can’t beat that!

  6. mandarin says:

    Gap isnt a name brand…
    Its just a brand no one cares for. Thats why no one makes fake Gap clothes.

  7. jaredgood1 says:

    Macy’s for me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @jaredgood1: i liked ls ayres better.

  9. I was at a Gap this weekend and shocked by how much full price clothes are… I haven’t bought anything that wasn’t on sale there in a while. Now I know why.

  10. bohemian says:

    I thought it was my fault I don’t understand the Gap. I don’t see the value in buying poorly fitting, boring, poorly made expensive clothing so it is clearly my uncultured ways that cause me to not understand the Gap.

  11. Geekybiker says:

    I always thought GAP was uninteresting clothes at exorbitant prices. Old Navy at least is cheap, even if their quality sucks. No two items the same size seems to be their motto. Can’t say I’ve ever shopped at the Banana Republic.

  12. Usermanual says:

    I am really put off by how much (red) is plastered over everything at GAP right now. It’s ok to support a charity, but I don’t need to wear it like a brand that people will just associate with capitalism. GAP hasn’t been on the forefront of anything stylish since the late 90’s when their t.v. commercials were a treat for the senses.

    Boo GAP you have strayed from your roots.

  13. homerjay says:

    I seldom walk into Gap and never walk into Old Navy. I just never ever found anything good in either of those stores. BR, on the other hand occupies about 80% of my closet and 75% of those came from a BR outlet. No point in paying the high prices if I don’t have to.

    I don’t even try their stuff on anymore. I know exactly what sizes I need when I walk in there. I can even order online with confidence.

  14. liquisoft says:

    They need to make a complete 180 and reinvent themselves. I remember when I used to go to the gap all the time for clothing, but now I honestly don’t care about their store. I can get clothes with similar appearance from Target, of all places, for half the price…and I can buy some lightbulbs while I’m there. Score!

  15. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    I have five year old Gap shirts that are still in good shape, especially for 5-yr-old shirts. I have other shirts I’ve bought in the last year or two that look like crap after about 2-3 wears. Their quality has gone *way* downhill. At least with Old Navy, you knew you were buying cheap crap, and didn’t expect it to last. Gap seems to have inherited the Old Navy quality, but kept the Gap prices.

  16. magdelane says:

    My biggest beef, regardless of whether the item came from ON, Gap, or BP, is that they keep placing their frigging logos on decent clothes! If it is a cute, lightweight, summer tee, I don’t want to advertise for you, Old Navy. I’m shopping at *your* store; therefore I’m not some “Brand Aspirational” I am, instead, a value-conscious shopper, but want things slightly trendy. And Gap, if I like your jeans, I don’t want a huge tag on the belt line extolling the virtues of the Gap, that bunches up and pokes me with its amazingly still-sharp corners, a la Levi Strauss. And Banana, stop, please, stop putting your logo on your leathergoods. Once again, I am not a brand aspirational, and if you are doing Coach knock-offs, I sure don’t want to advertise that I’m too cheap to go to the flea market and buy a *real* knock-off.

    Really, stop thinking of yourself as an Image Brand. You aren’t. Stop putting your logos and names all over your products, and I’ll start taking you seriously; maybe I’ll come back into your stores every now and again. Till then, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, and H&M have most of my business. At least they don’t assume I’m a walking billboard. Oh, and Women come in more shapes than Twig-teen, Cinderblock, and Will’o the Wisp.

  17. SaraAB87 says:

    I went into an Old Navy “outlet” store here, and found nothing but 34.99 jeans for women, all jeans were that price. I can go to a much better store and buy jeans for 19.99!!! There is no way I am paying these supposedly cheap “outlet” prices, I thought outlet stores were supposed to be cheaper, apparently they are not! The prices at the Gap “outlet” store in the same mall was also more of the same overpriced crap!

  18. legotech says:

    I still remember when Banana Republic was an independent store in NYC. Great quality stuff…My Banana Republic photog vest lasted me for YEARS. Then the Gap bought ’em and they became Gap Khakis, then khakis became popular and there was nothing left to differenciate between the Gap and BR.


  19. DrGirlfriend says:

    Gap has gone wayyyy downhill in the past 2 or 3 years. First it started with the styles becoming boring and pedestrian. they have graduated to outright ugly clothes. The prices are way too high for the ugly and poorly-made rags they are trying to push. It’s just appalling – who is on that design team? And Old Navy is at least more affordable, but they are starting to go down the same boring/ugly road.

    A few weeks ago I went into a Gap store and they had 6 mannequins frouped together, front and center, all wearing different styles of black dresses. It looked like a mannequin funeral.

  20. Trae says:

    I don’t hate the Gap so much as hate the people who shop there. :P

  21. morganlh85 says:

    It’s reducing the number of the PRICES that will get me to shop there. I can’t pay $60 for a basic pair of khakis, it’s just ridiculous.

  22. itmustbeken says:

    As a past employee, I can just imagine the management team meeting…it will go something like this…’See that! the higher price point at BR saved us! It means we can raise prices at Gap and people will SEE the quality!!’

    Redesign the damn stores & logo already. The last time they did that Mickey Drexler was in charge…he’s running JCrew (into the ground) now. Oh, and that for crap attempt to rebrand Old Navy isn’t working either.

    Zara, Primark and HM are going to pick the rest of the meat off their bones in the next 5 years….

  23. SpaceCat85 says:

    I used to shop at Old Navy a lot for basics: they had various simple long- & short-sleeved T-shirts in tons of colors that went with anything and were a steal when they were having a seasonal sale.

    Then, a year or two ago, they started dinking around with the sizes: the shirt styles I’d been buying for several years in a “Small” suddenly became an “X-Small”, so they pretty much never had my size in stock in the colors I wanted. The fabric also got noticeably thinner than the older shirts (again, in the same style) I still had around.

    The last few times I’ve been in an Old Navy, they had tons of weird, short, sack-like shirts and dresses that look like maternity wear (the bad, old-fashioned “human balloon” kind), and the jeans and outerwear were junkier than but priced the same as regular name brands.

    They need to get back to pushing basic separates that you can mix-and-match, and stop making cheap, “trendy” junk that looks like it was made to hide curve-less supermodels’ anorexia.

  24. humphrmi says:

    Ironically the last thing I bought at Old Navy was a couple of years ago when they were selling those fleece blankets for $5 each, limit 3, on Black Friday. I still have the blankets, but no more Old Navy for me… for all the same reasons. Boring, boring, boring.

    Oh and Gap – even worse. Add 20% on to the cost of boring Old Navy, and you’ve got the Gap.

  25. infinitysnake says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: Exactly…I wandered in there recently, and a dummy in the window was wearing a shirt I could have sworn was a walmart shirt- it was cheap and thin looking and had lint stuck all over it. We never made it any farther than that.

  26. bohemian says:

    Spacecat85 has a good point. Why are they not making more good basics that mix and match?

    Since just about everyone is cash strapped one would think that selling good quality clothes with lots of usability might have an audience about now.

    I know I have started leaning toward putting money on a few better quality basic items rather than what is in fashion.

  27. rolla says:

    i havent shopped at Gap on a regular basis since college and their clothes today look the same like they were back then…and that was 10 years ago! The need to differentiate themselves from Old Navy, invent new styles, and stop making their clothes boxy (but then again, this goes for all 3 of their brands). Especially since H&M, Zara, etc., make cheap clothing, but with today’s fashion trends in mind, Old Navy and Gap arent going to be around much longer.

  28. ugly says:

    I still have over $120 in unspent gift certificates at the Gap. I’ve had them for well over a year and I go in about once a month to see if they have anything I want.

    Hearing about the prices (I assume south of the border) doesn’t make me less upset. Their standard Khaki’s are over $80 Canadian (so about $85 USD) and even though they’re essentially free, I still haven’t seen anything I’d wear that fit. I’m considering just blowing it on some of their stupid winter theme clothes like socks with Reindeer or something, just to get this card out of my wallet.

  29. thewriteguy says:

    It’s all about American Apparel now. GAP is fading out of fashion like Casual Corner did in the 1980s.

  30. kerry says:

    I couldn’t care less about the gap. That said, I loves me some Daniel Dae Kim. Why didn’t they put that giant poster up in my neighborhood? Booooooooo.

  31. Bay State Darren says:

    I’ve never shopped at the Gap. My latest clothes purchase was $14.99 jeans at Sears, so I ‘m probably not their target customer.

  32. GF_AdventureGrl says:

    I used to love The Gap…when I was in the seventh grade.

  33. velvetjones says:

    Pssst, Gap: STOP MAKING CLOTHES THAT MAKE ME LOOK FAT ALL OVER. (reverse fit jeans anyone?) The pants have these thick waistbands, and everything is so freaking bulky in the strangest places (oddly bulky cuffs – wtf?). Call me crazy but I’m not into that whole fatass look you’re peddling. Do you know why people happily pay $200 for a pair of 7’s? Because they make their asses look GREAT. Also — black t-shirts should be black and stay black for at least a handful of careful washings. I had to buy an emergency shirt the other day and I SWEAR it faded as soon as I left the store.

  34. Irascible says:

    One of my favorite shirts is a plain, black long sleeve shirt from the Gap that I bought in 1990. It’s still very sturdy and hasn’t faded too badly. Back then, the Gap made clothing consumers expected to last 17+ years and never went out of style. I didn’t mind the high prices too much because I knew the clothing would last a long time.

    Today, it would be difficult to find a Gap shirt that lasted more than a year before it fell apart or went completely out of style. If I’m going to buy a shirt that will be useless in a year, then I might as well buy it at Wal-Mart and save myself $30.

  35. ludwigk says:

    I really like GAP pants. They fit me really well, tend to be sturdy/well made, and they tend to have a more ‘dressy’ cut for khakis. Whats even better is that their cargo pants and khakis basically haven’t changed in the last decade. I can pick up a pair of pants off their shelf and walk right out the store with them knowing that they’ll fit perfectly.

    I also have absolutely no fashion sense, so it surprises me none that their business is suffering if I like what they’re doing.

    I’m the kind of guy that will wear tube socks with cargo shorts with a big black hoodie and beat up old tshirt to work. I noticed once that the guy begging for change outside BART was wearing pretty much the same outfit (except that my clothes were noticeably cleaner).

  36. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    I never pay retail for clothes anyway….

  37. Raanne says:

    meh – i like gap – i dont care. its one of the only places where i can consistently find pants that fit. especially with a lot of stores not even carrying “long” sizes in pants for women. its reliable – the clothes are actually flattering – i’m sure that the quality has probably gone down some, but i know that the khakis i buy there last for a couple years, and i wear them to work all the time, so i’m fine with it.

  38. klondikedog says:

    I think GAP kids and baby clothes are alright. A little overpriced, but on sale a pretty good deal. Old Navy too, they make lots of cute, reasonably durable baby and toddler clothes. For adults, though… My wife likes GAP jeans, having just purchased a really nice pair for $15.99. If I was CEO of GAP, I would drop the prices and let BR sell the expensive stuff. The whole pricing model is out-of-wack. The fact you can buy a shirt for $39.99 and two weeks later the same shirt is priced at $12.99 is really aggravating. I think people have caught on and realize the only deal at the GAP is on sale. I guess they make such a huge profit on the shirt (even at $12.99) that is how they make their money, but it can’t go on forever.

    We only buy our clothes at JCrew for the following reasons: 1) being a JCrew card member, we get $25 gift certificates each season 2) when their clothes are on sale they are a fair price 3) superior quality 4) some of their clothes are made in the USA! 5) better service. Seriously $45 jeans made in the US is great. Granted those jeans cost $80 new, but if you have a few coupon codes, a college ID and wait for a sale, you can get a deal.


  39. ianmac47 says:

    Gap clothing is too generic– GAP designs do not make a statement. On top of this they are over priced when compared to nearly identical items at Old Navy. They need to stop trying to run the middle ground and either improve the look, cut, and feel of their clothing and make themselves into a luxury brand, or slash prices and be the cheap-chic. With H&M’s steady price creep over the last five years, there would probably be a nice market for “cheap enough to throw away” fashion, if GAP could get themselves something people wanted to wear.

  40. andymadrid1 says:

    I’m 40, and I remember the gap as the place that my older siblings loved because it had all the young hip styles. It wasn’t a store for basics; it was a store where you would find the street styles that the conservative department stores didn’t carry. Remember “fall into the Gap”? I thought they were referring to the generation gap? Now, the place is as sterile as any other store if not more so. Last time I went there it was because I was working a convention and the company asked us to pick-up some khakis and a polo there….I mean that says it all if you ask me. The place to buy convention wear and that’s about it.

  41. DownwardSpiral says:

    This article is a little deceiving, considering Macy’s, Nordstrom, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Limited Brands among others ALL had significant lower september sales and ALL missed analyst expectations.

  42. Dibbler says:

    I remember when the Gap and Banana Republic opened. The Gap was the place to go buy cheap clothes to wear everyday. Banana Republic sold a bunch of cool crappy flowery shirts and army surplus crap from around the world. My first purchase was a army coat from Brazilian surplus. The key was that they had some cool cheap stuff but then one day they suddenly thought they were so cool that they could start charging way too much. Instant uncool in my book. Same thing happened to Levi’s jeans. They sold well because they were made well and cheap. Levi’s got too big and arrogant and now they sell their crap at Walmart.

  43. Dibbler says:

    @Bay State Darren: That’s the problem…The Gap used to be the place to buy $14.99 khakis and jeans. Now it’s the place to buy $49.99 jeans and khakis.

  44. G-Dog says:

    I’m not made of money. I buy the cheapest sweat shop produced clothing I can find. Then I wear it until it falls apart. I haven’t spent more than $14 on a single piece of clothing (outside of shoes) in something like 7 years. My clothing also hold up well, considering the cost. I’m very board with my wardrobe, but I’m not going to spend cash to feel fancy when I could pay off more debt instead.

  45. satoru says:

    My own odd Banana Republic experience was in Japan. They opened a store in Roppongi, and if you’re ever in Tokyo you should visit it. It has a strange vibe to it. On one hand it looks like a BR, because of the consistent color schemes in their stores (brown brown and more brown!). But the place is organized like a boutique store. It’s sparse, open, and neatly organized. It was also insanely expensive! My girlfriend wanted to try on a skirt, and she needed a size 4 because the racks were full of size 0 and the occasional 2. They went into the back and they didn’t have the size in stock. Mind you this was a regular priced item at a whopping $200, not some sale item (again the rack was full of size 0s and 2s). I always keep wondering where the “Big and Tall” is in Japan so I can get a pair of jeans with a 34″ waist.

  46. jakesprincess says:

    I don’t really care for the Gap’s clothes so much anymore, but I love Gap Body. Their intimates and pajamas and lounge clothes are really nice quality and go on sale for great prices. Even at full price I find the prices to be reasonable as compared to Victoria’s Secret. I used to love Old Navy but a few years ago they changed their clothing demographic and now I do not like it at all. I remember just loving their clothes but not anymore—there was a definite shift. As for BR, their prices are high, but at least they have a direction of style. The issue with BR is their sizing is all over the map. Right now I am wearing a sweater of theirs that is a size L. Yesterday I was in there and tried on a shirt is size L and XL, none of which fit at all.

  47. Frank Grimes says:

    And in the bizzaro world of international finance Gap (GPS) is trading UP!? at mid day today (Friday) and is up bout 5% over the past six months!? Told Oldham bounce?

  48. Akamaru says:

    Interesting that there is another GAP article out today.

    I just got into work after struggling with a cheaply made and/or defective GAP umbrella. I bought it a week ago anticipating the rain this week. I open the thing up after getting out of my car and it opens backwards with zero assistance from the wind.

    So now I’m standing there looking like a moron flipping my umbrella the correct way while noticing that the metal supports for the fabric are cheap and very maleable. Then I proceed to walk the 3 blocks to my office building. After 2 blocks one of the metal supports breaks in half and I have to give up and walk the rest of the way in the rain.

    This comes on the heels of a trip to the GAP last Tuesday when I went to try and buy a wool jacket. I wanted to see if another store could mail me a size small jacket that the sales clerk had looked up for me because the last small in the store I had tried on had ripped stitching. The clerk and I both subsequently get the run around by the other clerk from the neighboring store (was put on hold for 15 minutes at one point). Then she wanted me to announce my credit card number to her over the phone while 10 other people waited behind me ready to pay for their items. I was fed up with the ridiculous behavior and walked out.

    So, after work today I’m going to the San Jose Valley Fair Mall and returning this sorry excuse for a $22 umbrella and getting my money back. I’m done with The GAP. It’s too bad because it’s hard finding clothes (business or other-wise) that fits someone young with a 30″ waist and who isn’t over-weight.

  49. oneswellfoop says:

    The clothes they make fit like burlap sacks. I am thin, somewhat muscular, and tall. I would look spectacular in clothes made to fit me properly, and be a great walking advertisement for GAP. Instead their walking advertisements are generally at least 50 pounds overweight. Who wants to buy that crap?

  50. PlayWithSlurry says:

    Is that “Jin” from Lost?

  51. Akamaru says:

    I agree, but I think this is a problem with the AMERICAN clothing industry in general not just The GAP. It’s hard for men with healthy proportions to find stylish clothing that isn’t a size L or XXL. I wentlooking for work clothes earlier this week and took 3 hours looking for khaki pants in a size 30″/30″. Most of them are around size 34″ waist or larger at Macy’s or those other department stores. Dress shirts tend to run in the large sizes and go up from there. Lacoste is the only store that always has enough stock of small and medium shirts, but then again they’re a European clothing store. However I don’t like paying $75 for ultra-colorful work polos.

    Sometimes I’m tempted to just start eating at Mc Donalds for a month so I can fit into a size 34″/ 30″ pair of pants and cut down on the shopping annoyances.

  52. Consumerist Moderator - ACAMBRAS says:

    At least men’s pants sizes have some rhyme or reason. Women’s pants sizes can vary quite a bit by store and/or designer. I usually take 3 pairs of the same style — in 3 different sizes — into the dressing room with me. Talk about shopping annoyance…

  53. shiftless says:

    Blue shirt? Khaki pants (or blue and grey)! Yeah! We’re ready to go to work!!! Seriously, men need another style at the office.

    GAP has gotten extremely boring. I’ve found better brands, better clothing and got only a few shirts from them this year.

    Yay! More horizontal stripes! Stripes! Stripes! Stripes!!!!!!!

  54. z1rdarryl says:

    Lets see.
    It has the most anoying commercials, EVER!!!

    It’s stores have the look of a close out store.

    It’s Prices are Crazy High!. If the store had a 75% off sale it still would not be worth checking out.

    It’s quality is the worst.

    The clothes themselves, They make good looking people Ugly, and , Ugyl looking people UGLIER!
    ( Need I say more).

    Snotty store employees.

    The Fit of the clothes, I have never seen them fit right on anyone.

    Those stupid looking headsets.

    And lastly,
    It’s name Rhymes with Crap.

  55. it5five says:

    The one good thing the GAP had were those Audrey Hepburn pants a year back or so. They had these skinny straight leg pants that actually fit my girlfriend. Unfortunately, it seems like the Gap likes running their specials for about 2 weeks, so they were impossible to find again.

    Anyway, the only place we usually shop anyway is American Apparel.

  56. Ola says:

    I agree, Old Navy needs to go back to basics (hint: bring back the perfect tanks!), and Gap…well, they need to deal with their $60 jeans issue.

    BTW, has anyone else noticed an annoying trend in stores like Gap – they’ll put a set of Style #1 on a rack with Styles #2, 3, and 4, and then put another set of Style #1 on some decorative/promotional rack or hanger? I can’t swear to it, but the last time I was at a Gap, I think I saw the same pair of pants hanging in 3 different places. Maybe it was only 2; who knows? In any event it was a pain to find my size, wash, and fit – there were so many choices, and in so many places.

  57. Anonymous says:

    @SpaceCat85: You posted exactly what I wanted to say – from the sizing to the fabric weight to the teen pseudo-maternity wear. Glad to know I’m not the only one who’s frustrated!