Gap looks at closing Irish stores

Clothing retailer struggling with Covid-induced sales slump

Gap operates four stores in the Republic. Photograph: iStock

Gap operates four stores in the Republic. Photograph: iStock

 

Gap is considering closing stores in some European countries including the Republic, as the clothing retailer looks to save cash while dealing with a sales slump brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and competition from fast-fashion companies.

Gap operates four stores in the Republic: in Dundrum, Blanchardstown and within Arnotts in Dublin, and in Limerick.

The San Francisco-based company, which had 129 Gap brand stores in Europe at the end of July, said late on Tuesday that options being explored include the possible closure of outlets in the Republic, the UK, France and Italy by mid-2021.

The move comes as Gap struggles with out-of-fashion styles, which has pushed shoppers towards apparel brands such as Zara and H&M. The coronavirus crisis has compounded troubles by stifling brick-and-mortar sales across the globe.

However, online sales of Gap’s Old Navy and Athleta brands have surged since the start of the pandemic.

The company also said it was reviewing its warehouse and distribution model and its Gap and Banana Republic-owned e-commerce operations in Europe.

Partnership

Parts of Gap’s European business could be transferred to third parties in a partnership model, the company said. Earlier this year, Gap said it planned to close over 225 unprofitable Gap and Banana Republic stores globally as a part of a restructuring plan. – Reuters