Oct 22, 2020

Gap to switch to franchise model in Europe

Gap is considering closing hundreds of stores in Europe in order to focus on reviving its US business and expanding its Athleta and Old Navy brands, putting up to 3,000 UK jobs at risk. "Franchisees already operate in 35 countries through 400 stores and we believe there is significant room to expand our franchise footprint," said chief financial officer Katrina O'Connell at a virtual investor event on Thursday. Ms O'Connell added that if it were not possible to transfer operations to franchisees, then owned stores in Europe would most likely close. The San Francisco-based company, which specialises in jeans, khakis and signature logo sweatshirts, entered the UK market in 1987 and its 70 owned stores in the country represent more than half of the company's European store estate. Banana Republic, a more upmarket brand owned by the group, closed its stores in Europe two years ago.

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