Gap will close all 81 of its Ireland in the UK and Ireland by the early autumn the company has confirmed.
The company will continue trading online but will sell stores in France and Italy. The shop has been a staple for many UK customers since opening its doors in 1987.
1. It failed to adapt
Experts say that the chain, which began in San Francisco selling only Levi’s and LP records, fell behind with fashion trends. Gap failed to adapt and “embrace the new customer,” by not offering enough variety and not being as cheap as competitors such as Primark.
2. Too many discounts
Natalie Berg thinks Gap customers had “promotional fatigue” from too many 50%-70% sale offers. This lack of agility in costing products left them in a “race to the bottom”, she says.
3. Not distinctive enough
Retail experts argue that Gap increasingly failed to stand out from the crowd. Gap lost out because it was “not a new and exciting concept anymore”, says Diane Wehrle. Gap is not alone in struggling, says Cathy Parker, professor of retail and marketing enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University.
4. It had too many shops
Covid has accelerated the difficulties for many retailers, with many big chains closing stores and famous names such as Debenhams disappearing from the High Street. “We have an oversupply of retail space which is no longer fit for purpose,” Natalie Berg explains.
Richard Lim confirmed that Covid-induced lockdowns have been the “final nail in the coffin for too many stores” and additionally Gap’s “uninspiring” shopping environment. Richard stated that experiences became much more important to drive footfall and Gap “failed to embrace that”.
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