23 October 2020 22:35
National Business Jon Robinson US clothing retailer Gap is considering plans to close all its UK stores at the end of the second quarter of 2021. The company added that its stores in France, Ireland and Italy could also be shut as well as its EU distribution centre in Rugby. Head of Gap brand global Mark Breitbard said: "Gap has what it takes to win again. With strong brand awareness and a large, active customer base, we are focusing on harnessing the power of Gap brand in asset-light ways. Going forward, we will look to transform our business model through partnerships that grow and amplify our global reach.
"As we conduct the review, we will look at transferring elements of the business to interested third parties as part of a proposed partnership model expansion. "Franchise partnerships are a strong and cost-effective way to amplify the brand. "Through franchise, Gap brand reaches customers in 35 countries with more than 400 stores and 14 e-commerce sites. "We are committed to sharing more as we thoughtfully work through this process. While the work is tough, we have our eyes set on leveraging our brand power to deliver Modern American Optimism to customers around the world. "To the teams that support our European business, I want to thank you for your understanding as we go through this process and express my appreciation on behalf of the entire leadership team."