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Gap shelves spinning off Old Navy, outlines new plan for brand

Instead of spinning off its Old Navy brand, Gap Inc aims to operate the brand in a more rigorous and transformational manner that empowers its growth. The company expects the brand’s full-year 2019 profit to be ‘moderately above’ its previous projection of $1.70 to $1.75 a share because of “better-than-anticipated promotional levels over the holiday period.

Founded in 1969 in San Francisco, Gap rose to prominence as a denim emporium selling jeans from Levi Strauss & Co., another Bay Area institution. It helped pioneer the vertical integration of retail and started producing its own branded goods. By the 1990s it had transformed into a fashion juggernaut, jumping on the khaki-pants trend and building up robust secondary brands in Banana Republic and Old Navy.

But struggles started in the middle of the next decade as mall traffic declined and operational issues cropped up. One of the most famous missteps came in 2010, when the company unveiled a new Gap logo. Some shoppers complained, so it reverted to the old logo just a week later.