200 Gap, Banana Republic stores to close

But Gap will be increasing the number of Old Navy and Athleta stores.
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Gap will be closing 200 of its underperforming namesake and Banana Republic stores around the world.

The number of closures, announced in its latest results on Thursday, represents 10 percent of its 2,000 stores across the globe. It also reflects a downturn in demand from shoppers for merchandise from Gap and the Gap-owned Banana Republic.

It hasn't been revealed yet which stores are going to be axed, but Gap has 13 regular, kids and outlet stores in Minnesota, according to its website, of which eight are in the Twin Cities metro.

There are nine Banana Republic locations across the state, of which the Albertville store is the only one outside the metro.

In its announcement, Gap said it will be "shifting its focus to where customers are shopping," increasing its presence online as well as downsizing specialty and underperforming locations.

The closures are expected to be rolled out over the next three years. 

Better news for Athleta, Old Navy fans

But it's all not bad news for Gap.

While traffic at Gap and Banana Republic may be down, two more of its retail subsidiaries – Old Navy and Athleta – are going from strength-to-strength.

Gap says it will be opening 270 new Old Navy and Athleta stores in the coming years.

This article from Jezebel argues the reason Gap is struggling where its lower-end subsidiaries are not is because the clothing Gap makes is "too expensive and not that cute for what it is."

CNN Money notes that Gap and Banana Republic have also found it difficult to compete with cheaper, "fast-fashion" retailers like H&M and Forever 21.

Gap CEO Art Peck described the company's downturn in sales at Gap and Banana Republic as "significant and acute," CNN Money says.

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