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Gap to Close More Than 100 Stores

Gap to Close More Than 100 Stores

Gap is planning to close more than 100 stores by the end of 2013.  

Business First Article

Clothing retailer The Gap Inc. plans to close more than 100 more of its namesake stores in the United States by the end of 2013. The move is part of a plan to reduce the company’s total square footage across all brands.

During an investor meeting in New York Thursday, executives of San Francisco-based Gap (NYSE: GPS) said that by the end of 2012, Gap Inc. will have reduced its total real estate square footage in North America by 10 percent from 2007 levels.

Other Gap store brands include Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime.

Gap brand will cut its square footage 34 percent overall (compared to 2007 levels), resulting in 700 U.S. and Canada Gap stores and 250 Gap Outlet stores at the end of 2013.

As of July 30, 2011, Gap brand had 998 stores open in the U.S. and 93 stores open in Canada.

Gap brand has eight stores in Kentucky, according to its Web site. In Indiana, it has nine stores.

The company did not say how many stores in specific states would be closed.

The company’s Old Navy brand also will reduce its square footage in North America. While the company hopes to hold steady at about 1,020 stores, it is looking to shrink the average Old Navy footprint, removing up to 1 million square feet of selling space from the store fleet by the end of 2013.

There are eight Old Navy stores in Kentucky and 12 in Indiana.

International sales and emerging brands such as Athleta and Piperlime remain Gap Inc.’s primary growth vehicles, the company reiterated, as well as e-commerce. Indeed, Athleta and now Piperlime appear to be the only brands who will add North American square footage in coming years.

Gap Inc. announced Thursday that it will test a bricks-and-mortar Piperlime store concept next year. A similar test of Athleta led to the activewear brand opening its first flagship in San Francisco in January; Athleta will have 10 North America stores open at the end of this fiscal year and is targeting 50 stores open by the end of 2013.