Retail Woes. Customers No Longer Want to Fall Into The Gap. Second City Style Fashion Blog

January 8, 2007 • Fashion


Poor Gap, Inc just can’t seem to catch a break lately. Between the Audrey Hepburn skinny-leg black pant commercial (using dead celebrities to promote brands is controversial), the poor marketing of the Roland Mouret Five Dresses and declining sales, 2006 was a nightmare for the company. As Gap Inc. heads back to
the drawing board to review strategies for its two largest
brands (Gap & Old Navy), retail watchers say their main problem is
as basic as T-shirts and jeans: the company needs
to offer more inspiring clothing.

But whether current management — led by Chief Executive
Paul Pressler — will be around to oversee such a change is the
recurring question on Wall Street that cropped up again this
week after the company promised to review brand strategies at
its Gap and Old Navy chains following disappointing December

"I don’t think they need a better brand strategy. I think
they need better merchandise," said retail consultant George
Whalin. "It’s pretty simple. Customers don’t like it."

Some analysts question whether Gap now knows its audience
in the same way it used to. It’s apparent they have lost touch. Gap’s skinny black pants — promoted as a new trend — have
ended up on the discount rack for $9.99, and some see mixed
messages in marketing campaigns featuring rappers on one hand
and deceased style icon Audrey Hepburn on the other.

Gap, which has seen its customers jump ship to a host of
trendier rivals such as Target and Abercrombie &
Fitch Co., has posted negative same-store sales in all
but two months since 2005

"A lot of the confusion comes from Gap trying to be too
much to too manyAudrey_pant
people," Priya Raghubir, an associate professor at the Haas
School of Business at University of California, Berkeley said Morningstar analyst Joseph Beaulieu. He further stated he would
be surprised if there wasn’t a management shake-up in the near
term at Gap, either at the brand level or in the executive

Retail strategists say it’s not too late for Gap, but
after about two years of problems, it will
take time for shoppers to appreciate any new improvements at
the Gap chain, which needs to source more exciting apparel and
finesse its brand image.



See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

Leave a Reply