Fashion retailer Gap has announced that it plans to shut more than a fifth of its Gap stores in North America over the next two years. The retailer recognised that it had expanded to such an extent that the US market became oversaturated with its stores. As a result, Gap said that it will reduce its network of North American stores to 700 by the end of 2013.

The company will let leases expire rather than terminate them early, a spokeswoman said. The company will now be concentrating on international operations, with a focus on high-growth markets like China.