The Gap continues to tweak its operating model, in the hope of reversing the trends that put it on a downward spiral in the mid-2000s. During a call with analysts yesterday, company CEO Glenn Murphy revealed he plans to close 200 Gap stores by 2013, putting the Gap's total store count in the U.S. at 700. In 2007, the Gap operated 1,150 stores stateside.
At the same time, the company plans to step up expansion in the outlet center space, for both its Gap and Banana Republic divisions. Because of their emphasis on value and opportunities for growth, outlet centers have become all the rage lately for both retailers and developers.