Gap says it will close underperforming stores

Gap will seriously consider closing hundreds of “underperforming stores,” CEO Art Peck told analysts in a conference call Tuesday.

While some of the company’s brands reported improvement — like Old Navy, Athleta, and Banana Republic — the namesake Gap (NYSE: GPS) brand itself had a 7 percent sales decline in the third quarter from a year ago. There are about a dozen Gap stores in Greater Washington, not including outlet centers at National Harbor, Clarksburg and Leesburg.

“We are clearly not satisfied with the performance of Gap brand,” Peck said. “We know this iconic brand is important to customers, and we are committed to taking the bold and necessary steps to ensure that it delivers value to shareholders.”

The Gap operates 798 stores in North America as of the end of Q3. On the conference call, Peck said a number of Gap stores have been doing poorly for some time, and he wants to close those that don’t improve quickly. These stores, he said, were “a drag on the health and a…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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