US clothing retailer Gap has announced it will close all of its 81 stores in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2021, switching to an online-only model after being hit hard during the pandemic like many others. brands.
Explaining its decision in a statement, the company said, “In the UK and Europe, we will maintain our Gap online business.
“The e-commerce business continues to grow and we want to meet our customers where they shop.
“We are becoming a first digital company and we are looking for a partner to help us grow our business online.
“Due to market dynamics in the UK and Republic of Ireland, today we announced to our team that we are proposing to phase out all Gap Specialty and Gap Outlet stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland. ‘Ireland from the end of August to the end of September 2021.
“We are moving thoughtfully through the consultation process with our European team, and will be providing support and transition assistance to our colleagues as we seek to close our stores. “
The clothing giant was founded in California in 1969 and opened its first store in the UK in 1987, but only arrived in Ireland in 2006.
Its closures allow it to join Topshop, Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse, Karen Millen, Laura Ashley, Marks & Spencer, Next, House of Fraser and John Lewis to close some or all of its stores and cut jobs in response to the hardships. by national confinements in response to Covid-19.
It is also said to be in negotiations to sell its French and Italian stores for similar reasons.
Commenting on the closings, retail expert Kate Hardcastle told BBC Gap had failed to find answers to the business challenge posed by cheaper competitors such as Primark and TK Maxx.
“The brands you want to buy with in physical retail have to have more than just products on offer, they have to have a purpose,” she said.
“It just didn’t sound like a company that had embraced the new consumer. “
Gap has also faced fierce online competition from Asos and Boohoo, which it will need to continue to face as a dedicated e-commerce brand on this side of the Atlantic.
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This notice was published: 2021-07-01 09:09:05