Gap Shoppers Buying Online May Wait Longer For Orders After Warehouse Fire In NY

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

A rough year for Gap Inc and some of its brands — Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic — just got rougher: A fire that tore through a major distribution warehouse for the retailer earlier this week means that customers in a busy region are going to have to wait longer than usual to get their hands on the stuff they paid for.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, a massive fire burned through a Gap Inc. distribution center in Fishkill, NY, on Monday night.

Local media described the fire as immense, with flames “towering high above a building.” The blaze was first reported around 10:30 p.m. Monday, and wasn’t considered fully under control until 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. The emergency response came from more than 20 fire departments in three counties, and the investigation into its cause is continuing.

The chief of the Fishkill fire department told the WSJ that about 25% of the building that caught fire is damaged beyond repair, and that the remainder has significant smoke and water damage. The facility will have to remain shut for weeks while inspections are carried out.

The out-of-commission facility is about 10% of the company’s entire nationwide warehouse capacity, serving customers in the Northeast region.

And that is a real problem for Gap, because it’s back-to-school season and customers are shopping. And after back-to-school season comes that retail behemoth, the holiday season.

Meanwhile, Gap is using facilities in Ohio and Tennessee to fulfill orders as best it can.

Fire at Gap New York Distribution Center Slows Online Orders [Wall Street Journal]