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April 21, 2022updated 22 Apr 2022 10:16am

Gap Inc to close Banana Republic sites in Europe

US specialty apparel retailer Gap Inc has confirmed to Just Style it will wind down its Banana Republic sites in Europe by the end of May.

By Fi Forrest

Gap Inc told Just Style its brand sites in Europe are due to close by the end of next month following a review of its Banana Republic company-operated e-commerce operations in the region.

Gap Inc announced the strategic review in 2020. It told Just Style as a result of this analysis, it can confirm it will be winding down the Banana Republic sites in Europe by the end of May and that and are scheduled to close on 31 May. 

Currently, the UK website carries the message: “Farewell, for now – The site will be closing permanently on 31st of May. Until then, please continue to shop the site. We sincerely thank you for your loyalty and business.”

The Banana Republic US remains open for business. 

Gap Inc reported a US$16m net loss for the final quarter of fiscal 2021 last month, with CEO Sonia Syngal noting the group is working to address near-term disruption from acute headwinds that muted fourth-quarter performance.

Commenting on the results at the time, managing director at GlobalData Neil Saunders said: “US sales at Banana Republic grew by 21.5% over the prior year. This sounds good, but revenue over 2019 is down by 17%. This largely reflects the fact that the bottom has dropped out of the smart casual and workwear market. Given it is unlikely to recover back to where it was pre-pandemic, it is right that Gap looks to reinvent Banana. This seems to be gaining some traction with better assortments and merchandising on the ground. However, we are somewhat troubled by management’s inability to clearly communicate the proposition. Saying Banana will be focused around “acceptable luxury” is meaningless jargon and does not inspire confidence.”

Saunders recently spoke with Just Style on how the top ten global apparel companies, including Gap Inc, have fared during the Covid pandemic.

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