To save cash while dealing with sales slump bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and competition from fast-fashion companies, Gap Inc plans to close stores in some European countries. The San Francisco-based company had 129 Gap brand stores in Europe at the end of July. The brand now plans to close outlets in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Italy by mid-2021 as it is struggling with out of fashion styles, which has pushed shoppers towards apparel brands like Zara and H&M. The coronavirus crisis has compounded troubles by stifling sales at brick-and-mortar sales across the globe. However, online sales of Old Navy and Athleta brands have surged since the start of the pandemic.
Gap Inc is also reviewing its warehouse and distribution model and its Gap and Banana Republic-owned e-commerce operations in Europe. It plans to transfer parts of its European business to third parties in a partnership mode. Earlier this year, Gap planned to close over 225 unprofitable Gap and Banana Republic stores globally as a part of a restructuring plan.