Clothing retailer Gap Inc is shaking up the management at its core Gap brand in a bid to halt sliding domestic sales and position the unit for sustainable global growth - with outlet executive Art Peck taking over as the new head of Gap North America.

The San Francisco-based retailer is also centralising its creative resources, including design, marketing, fashion public relations, and production, in a Global Creative Center in New York.

And in another significant shift it will merge its Outlet division with the Gap and Banana Republic brands, which will not only drive efficiencies but also means the specialty retail stores and their value channels present a single vision to the consumer.

"I expect more from our Gap business in North America," Glenn Murphy, chairman and CEO of Gap Inc, said today (2 February). "The changes we're making are intended to propel the brand to deliver the product and brand experiences our customers demand worldwide."

He added: "New York will now serve as the global epicenter for creativity for Gap brand, which is exactly what we need to compete effectively here at home and internationally. This move will allow us to build upon the momentum demonstrated by our successful store openings in China and Italy."

Art Peck has been tasked with leading Gap's next phase following the just-announced departure of Marka Hansen, who is stepping down as president of Gap North America later this month after 24 years at the company.

Peck, who has led the growing Outlet business for the past three years, has been with Gap Inc for  six years and is seen a primary architect of the company's franchise business and international growth platform.

Pam Wallack, the current president of Gap Adult North America, will head the new Global Creative Center, working closely with the company's divisional presidents based in London, Tokyo, Shanghai, and San Francisco.

The global design team, led by Patrick Robinson in Adult and Jennifer Giangualano for Kids and Baby, will be a central part of the Global Creative Center.

"Art Peck is the ideal person to lead the next phase for Gap, and I expect him to make further enhancements to our North America business while encouraging the creative teams to think big," said Murphy.

"Pam Wallack brings more than 20 years of retail experience to this role and she will be counted on to develop the best ideas from around the globe in order to deliver amazing product to our customers."