INSIGHT: Will ads make Gap’s Christmas wish come true?
For a company which built its early reputation on eye-catching TV ads, it comes as some surprise to read that Gap's current US holiday campaign is its first for three years.
But the timing is no coincidence: the success of the company's renewed push behind its Old Navy retail brand has persuaded its executives to spend big this Christmas in a bid to gain market share against its rivals.
Old Navy was the highlight of Gap's third quarter results announcement, posting comps gains of 10% in a flat overall picture, and comfortably out-performing stablemates Gap and Banana Republic.
The new Gap campaign, which started last week, runs for about five weeks and is a major contribution to the company's US$45m increase on last year's fourth quarter marketing expenses.
The intent, following Old Navy's Supermodelquins campaign, is to keep consumers coming to the company's retail stores - and, most crucially, get them to spend more once they're in the door.
"We've worked over the last six to nine months on traffic generation ideas," chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy told analysts.
"How do we get traffic inside the four walls of our stores? Now I think the focus here is how do we turn that traffic into market share."
Of course, that won't just happen through a fancy new ad campaign.
The performance of Gap's relaunched denims range, the new-style Banana Republic stores and the Project One prototype outlets - all will be crucial to the fulfilment of Murphy's market share targets.
The success of the Gapkids tie-up with designer Stella McCartney might be another pointer to future strategy, but Murphy was keen to downplay suggestions that other celebrity names might be brought in.
"I don't think it's a strategic intent," he said.
With or without the help of the fashionistas, increasing market share won't be straightforward in an environment where apparel spending is forecast to be flat for at least the next 12 months.
"At the end of the day today, the customer psyche is 'give me a reason'," Murphy said.
"Give me a reason to cross the lease line. Give me a reason to drive to the mall. Give me a reason to get out of my house. What is that reason?"
Could it be a rejuvenated ad message?
Gap must be hoping that it can repeat the Old Navy trick with its eponymous brand and Banana Republic - but in a highly competitive and promotional pre-Christmas marketplace, the company will have a fight on its hands.
Help test our new apparel sourcing tool.
Spring has finally sprung for US retailers after a combination of factors pulled together in March to lift same-store sales for the seventh month in a row....
As the line between trend-led fashion and sportswear continues to blur, Mpdclick explores how fashion influences sportswear, and how sportswear has impacted the design industry, both on the runway and...
Thinking like a designer can transform the way brands develop products, services, processes and even strategy. So why is it that Britain, a country so good at training designers, fails to make use of ...
Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters is going back to its roots after deciding to ditch its struggling men's and women's concept Martin+Osa....
Specialty apparel retailer Gap Inc today (6 May) posted a 3% drop in April same-store sales, as revenues fell across all its brands and international division....
Iconix Brand Group has joined forces with the Schulz family to buy the Peanuts brand - home of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and other cartoon characters....
- US apparel sector braces for potential cost hikes
- Vietnam grows share of US apparel imports in 2016
- Trade Tracker – Trump's first weeks, Brexit agenda
- Key trade issues facing US textiles and apparel
- Does a hard Brexit mean hard times for UK fashion?
- Bangladesh "high threat" for terrorist activity
- VF Corp sees Q4 and FY earnings tumble
- Sales at US clothing retailers jumped in January
- Ralph Lauren new execs to support Way Forward Plan
- US Q4 in brief – VF Corp, Kate Spade, Rocky Brands
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Technical textile markets: product developments and innovations, December 2016
- Global market review of lingerie – forecasts to 2022
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar