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Gap Plans to Juggle Store Count

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During its fourth quarter earnings call, Gap Inc. announced plans to shut 200 locations--mostly Gap stores--while opening 230 new locations--mostly as Old Navy stores.

That's on top of its plans to shut its 18-unit Forth & Towne chain.

The decision to bolster Old Navy while pulling back on the Gap is interesting, especially since same-store sales at the Old Navy brand were worse than either Gap or Banana Republic last year.

Same-store sales for the Gap division dropped by 8 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a 7 percent decline last year. For Old Navy, same-store sales fell by 9 percent compared with a 6 percent decline a year ago. The company's third brand, Banana Republic, grew by 3 percent in same-store sales compared with a 5 percent decline a year ago.

All told, Gap's net number of stores will remain relatively stable, keeping the 2007 on track for a low number of store closings by retailers.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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