The Declining Gap

Gap stores have been the face of Jeans for a while. Old Navy and Banana Republic are the two retail stores that stemmed from Gap and together they form The Gap Brand. The Gap brand represents simpliciy, everyday and timeless clothing. Old Navy is the cheaper of the 3 brands while Banana is the more expensive.  Each serves its own market but over time, the one that started it all had trouble distinguishing itself from the others. Old Navy and Banana each had their own distinguished market and slowly Gap shoppers began to prefer its sister stores. The philosophy: Why spend double on a simple shirt from Gap when you can buy 3 of the same simple shirt at Old Navy. The same with Banana- if you’re going to spend that price at Gap, might as well go to Banana for better quality at a 20% markup. Slowly the respected Gap customers started to favor a sister store leaving Gap in the dust.

Few years ago Gap was rockin’ it, making a name for themselves with Jeans line. Their jeans are great- the fit, the look, the feel were all high quality. Slowly, similiar companies started to jump on the band wagon marketing their jeans to Gap’s market while selling them a cheaper price. Again, why buy the same timeless item from Gap when you can get them for a fraction of the cost elsewhere.

Gap started to take a hint and decided to market their clothing as opposed to concentrating on jeans. Guess what happened? Sales started to decline. I’m not shocked either. They even attempted to change their logo. Gap clothing is not anything special. They’re not stylish and most importantly they don’t scream ‘buy me!’ If they wanted to concentrate on their clothing, then their clothing line needed revamping. Instead, they kept their clothing line the same as always and failed to distinguish themselves from their competitors or better yet, their sister partners.

If Gap stuck to what made them great, the might still have a leg to stand on. Gap opted to promote their mediocre clothing line as opposed to their most prized possession. From what I see, The Gap Brand as a whole put Gap out of business.


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