About 200 Gap, Banana Republic stores to close over next 3 years

Gap shifts focus to Old Navy, Athleta, shutting 200 stores

With its namesake brand losing favor among consumers, Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) is taking drastic steps to streamline its business and focus on other brands that are performing well.

Louisiana has nine Gap stores and seven Banana Republic stores, including three Gaps and two Banana Republics in the New Orleans area.

Gap announced plans on Wednesday to close roughly 200 "underperforming" Gap and Banana Republic stores.




The closure amounts to about a 10 percent reduction of the company's total number of Gap and Banana Republic retail outlets after years of declining sales, reported CNN.

Gap CEO Art Peck spoke to analysts at the conference Wednesday saying that since 2005, the company has closed 650 Gap stores and decreased its overall retail footprint by 5 million square feet - and the moves come as more and more shoppers are buying their clothes online. And Athleta, which sells athletic clothing, is expected to exceed $1 billion in sales. The retailer also intends to open about 270 Old Navy and Athleta stores during the same period. But Gap Inc. also has long struggled with its own problems, mired in a sales slump as its clothes don't stand out in an overcrowded landscape.

The company added that it plans to continue making "significant" investments in its online operations, including in artificial intelligence technology.

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