US fashion giant Gap will increase its number of Outlet stores in the UK as part of plans outlined by management to generate growth overseas and online while stabilising its US business.
Speaking at the Piper Jaffray 29th Annual Consumer Conference in the US today, Gap chairman and chief executive Glenn Murphy outlined plans to gain market share in its core brands in the US as well as expand it online and international businesses.
“With our solid foundation and operational discipline in place, we’re now taking steps across our brands to gain back market share,” said Murphy. “Our healthy balance sheet also gives us the flexibility to make strategic investments for the future.”
In its first quarter to May 2, Gap – which operates its eponymous brand, Banana Republic and Old Navy among other fashion fascias – reported that earnings fell to $15m (£9.3m), versus $49m (£30.4m) the year before. Sales were $3.13bn (£1.94bn) against US$3.38bn (£2.1bn) and like-for-likes fell 8 per cent.
Murphy said Gap had improved efficiencies at the retailer and was concentrating on driving creative talent in the business and connecting with customers.
Murphy reiterated Gap’s full-year capital expenditure plans of $350m (£217m) for the financial year in 2009.
Its online and international businesses “continue to offer solid growth potential for the company” said the retailer.
Gap will expand its online and shoes website, Piperlime, with 50 new labels later this summer and will remodel 50 of its Old Navy stores in the US this year after a successful trial.
Gap will open 40 franchise stores in 20 countries by the end of the year, as well as expanding its Outlet stores in the UK, Japan and Canada.