Gap’s Banana Republic Chain to Close U.K. Stores as Sales SlipBy
The Banana Republic chain is exiting the U.K. next year, part of a global re-evaluation of the Gap Inc.-owned workwear brand.
Gap is closing all eight of its Banana Republic stores in the country, although shoppers will still be able to order items from the chain’s regional website. Most of the locations will be shuttered by the end of the fiscal year, Kari Shellhorn, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based company, said in an e-mail.
The move follows Gap’s announcement in May that it was reassessing the overseas presence of Banana Republic, which has suffered from tumbling sales in recent years. Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Simmons said Gap planned to close poor-performing Banana Republic stores and work to streamline the brand’s operating model. The chain continues to operate one store in France and one in Italy.
Net sales at Banana Republic’s European division fell 15 percent to $17 million in the most recently reported quarter.
As part of its international strategy, the company said in May it would close all 53 Old Navy stores in Japan this year. The value-focused chain had lost ground to local brands, such as Fast Retailing Co.’s Uniqlo.