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Goodbye, Gap Stores
News Bytes 10/26/2020 28 Comments

It’s more bad news for American malls. Once a hub of shopping and social activity, malls have experienced a downturn in popularity as online commerce continues to grow. Small boutiques and large anchor stores (such as Sears) have shuttered their mall locations, and in some cases, their entire corporations. Homebound shoppers during this year’s pandemic have helped to accelerate the online-buying trend. Now Gap Inc. has announced that it is moving out of malls too.

The San Francisco-based retailer, which was for decades a fixture at shopping malls around the country, said Thursday that it will close 220 of its namesake Gap stores—or one-third of its store base—by early 2024. That will result in 80% of its remaining Gap stores being in off-mall locations. As part of its restructuring, Gap Inc. says it also plans to close 130 of its Banana Republic stores in North America in three years.

The announcement was made at a Gap Inc. investor meeting. The company says it will focus those two brands—Gap and Banana Republic—on outlets and e-commerce (online) business.

Mall complexes are not owned by the stores that operate in them. Large corporations (like Simon) operate those facilities, set hours and rules (such as whether or not teens are allowed onsite unaccompanied by parents), and charge rent for shop space.

Mark Breitbard, CEO of the Gap brand, says, “We’ve been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores.” That means the sales generated from regulated mall traffic aren’t great enough to offset the cost of renting space there.

But Gap Inc. isn’t pulling everything out of malls. The company says it plans to add more Old Navy and Athleta stores—which operate under the same corporate umbrella.

Why are those two brands still thriving in malls? It comes down to volume for one and profit margin for the other.

Old Navy thrives because it offers trendy clothes at low prices. By selling low, it moves high volume. People will make the trip to the mall to save money, it seems. Lots of sales—even if each sale is not very large—add up to make the rent worthwhile.

Athleta, on the other hand, offers a limited line of pricey activewear. The brand is considered “elite.” Each piece is costly enough to bring in significant profit toward that high mall rent.

But Gap and Banana Republic are mid-range retailers. Not too high, but not so low either. That makes it hard to generate enough sales to warrant the costly mall space.

Gap Inc. believes it is being financially responsible by removing its lower-producing segment from the mall setting. Now it’s up to the malls to decide how they will fill the literal gaps.

(A window display at a Gap Kids clothing store in Winter Park, Florida. AP Photo/John Raoux)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

It is too bad that they have to do that, but sometimes we have to do things that we don't necessarily want to do. It is part of life. We buy from Old Navy quite a bit, and sometimes from Gap. Gap has really good quality stuff.

Aw, that really sucks. I like

Aw, that really sucks. I like GAP a lot, so I hope they don't close down completely. (Funny thing, I was just at Winter Park last week, and we passed that GAP store! What a coincidence lol!)

3rd comment

I like GAP

that stinks :-(

Got my magazine on Saturday!

Got my magazine on Saturday!

i dont really care because i

i dont really care because i never go to the mall anyway


I love GAP! Especially their hoodies.

@M10 M

Good point

Never heard of it....

This is sad...........I loved Sears....they had the best deals..........

This is London

I love old navy. And this is sad it would be awful if the next generation didn’t know what a mall was or something.

this is Mylee

This is so sad. I mean i love going shopping and looking/trying on clothes. When I get them online they sometimes don't fit. Old Navy is the best

i don't think i own a single

i don't think i own a single thing from gap


so sad :(

Does anyone have a long article that I could use?

I have a this school project, the assinment is to write about in article (in World Teen) that's 250 words long and it's due on Friday, October 30th. Have an article that I could use? Plz comment soon (before October 30th).

@ Sean S

Mabey the one called " Do votes expire if voter does?" I don't know if that's long enough but it looked long. :)


Well, this one is long but kind of old:

Amy Coney Barret is now a

Amy Coney Barret is now a Supreme Court judge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or is it justice?

Or is it justice?


@Sean S: I think you could probably do any of them. Just pick one that is interesting to you. I don't know how much you hate or like writing papers, but to me, 250 words is not that much, so I think a lot of them would work. But I wish you good luck and an A+!
@Alaina: I think it would be a Supreme Court Justice.
@Melody 10: Yeah, we really don't ever go to malls anymore.
@Mylee: Lol I am the total opposite! I hate going shopping and having to try on clothes. Give me a few t-shirts, athletic skirts (we don't wear pants or shorts) and a sweatshirt or two and I am good to go! Unless there is something I really want, then I will go shopping.

@Sean S

The one that NA is good (I just read it) or you could do one about all the politics going on right now. Just some suggestions. Sorry I am not much help!

*The one that NA PUT* sorry

*The one that NA PUT* sorry about the skipped word!

It's not really long

@Riley yea I agree 250 is not long I've done assinments that have way more words than 250 words! And I think I know what I'm gonna do thanks!

noooooo i love their hoodies

noooooo i love their hoodies and at all of the stores we go to all the employes are so kind!!!! i hope they will still keep everything and not limit theier contints but i hope tha with this they get a online store i do not know if they have on at all



I don't know if any of you

I don't know if any of you have heard of payless but the same thing happened to them too. it's sad . :(

@Sean S

Ok cool!! Good luck!


Yea Payless got shut down didn't they oh also Toys R us so sad. :_(

@sean S

Oh yes toys R us too . it's just sad :(

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