Syracuse University Retail Expert Comments on the Closing of Gap Stores
“What ails The Gap is bigger than a couple of hundred underperforming stores. For the past several years the brand has lost its identity, relevance and resonance with the American public,” says Amanda Nicholson, associate dean and professor of retail practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management.
“There are a myriad of factors that make success in an over-stored marketplace like the USA very challenging, including an ever growing menu of new and price-conscious brands to excite the public – from Top Shop to H&M to Zara to Target – just about every apparel store has jeans and khakis these days and most of the competition to GAP is offering some fantastic values, including their own sister chain, Old Navy,” says Nicholson in response to the news that The Gap plans to close 175 stores and cut about 250 jobs at its corporate headquarters.
“Couple this at Gap with a revolving door of merchants who have been trying to make the brand relevant in recent years – not the least of whom is their Chief Creative Director Rebekka Bay who left in January and has not yet been replaced – and the challenge gets even larger. At the end of the day, the customer needs to leave your store with something in her bag – if nothing excites her, the retailer has lost the game. And the stakes are getting higher every day,” says Nicholson.
Professor Nicholson is available to speak to media and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 443-9633
Bio: Professor Nicholson spent 20 years in the retail management field before entering higher education. She began her career with Marks & Spencer in London and then moved to Chicago to work in a variety of department store management positions. Her research interests include the preparation of students with appropriate skills for industry, developing student leadership skills, and the role of communications in the retention of retail employees.