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VOL. 44 | NO. 43 | Friday, October 23, 2020

Gap to move away from the mall, close 220 stores

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NEW YORK (AP) — Gap is moving away from the nation's malls.

The retailer, which was for decades a fixture at shopping malls around the country, said it will be closing 220 stores — or one-third of its store base — by early 2024. That will result in 80% of its remaining Gap stores at off-mall locations.

The announcement, made Thursday at the parent company's investor meeting, detailed a three-year plan that calls for closing 30% of Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America, or a total of 350 stores, and focusing on outlets and e-commerce business. The moves come as Gap, along with other clothing retailers, are trying to reinvent themselves during the COVID pandemic, which forced many non-essential stores to temporarily close in the spring and early summer. As part of its restructuring, it said it plans to close 130 Banana Republic stores in North America in three years.

"We are harnessing the power of our brand," said Mark Breitbard, president of the Gap brand. "We are radically restructuring to win."

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