Blog: Leonie BarrieOld Navy lost at sea

Leonie Barrie | 20 February 2008

Despite her impeccable retail pedigree, Dawn Robertson has failed to build the “exciting vision for the future of Old Navy” which was promised when she was hired as its president in October 2006.

Since then, the Old Navy discount chain has been the biggest drag on Gap's performance, with fourth quarter same-store sales falling 5% in the three months to 2 February compared with a 3% fall for the company overall.

Initiatives launched by Robertson have included a re-focus on clothing for women in their 20s instead of the whole family, as well as getting merchandise into the stores more quickly.

She also hired fashion designer and television personality Todd Oldham as design creative director for the Old Navy division, to help make the merchandise more fashionable as well as launching an exclusive line under his own name.

But so far these moves haven’t been enough to stop the flow of budget-conscious shoppers away from its stores to other low-priced merchants like Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s and JC Penney. It’ll be interesting to see what plans her successor has up his or her sleeve.

Old Navy president steps down


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