Clothing & Shoes

Gap battles landlords in bid to shutter stores

The fashion group is considering a move to become an online-only retailer in Europe

Gap is reportedly battling its landlords ahead of plans to “hand back the keys” to all its UK stores this July, according to the Times.

The group first announced it was considering the possible closures of company-operated stores in the UK, France, Ireland and Italy at the end of Q2 2021, following a strategic review launched last October

At the time, the group said it was instead considering a franchise-based model, with an aim to transform its business model “through partnerships that grow and amplify our global reach”.

According to the paper, the group is now exploring the option of becoming an online-only retailer in Europe, following changing consumer habits and ravaged high street trading, and is now putting pressure on landlords to break lease contracts early.

The group previously closed one of its two Oxford Street sites as it looks to reduce its bricks-and-mortar estate amid the pandemic.

In addition, it previously said it was reviewing its warehouse and distribution model and Gap and Banana Republic company-owned e-commerce operations in Europe, noting that a possible outcome is the closure of its EU distribution centre in Rugby. 

Retail Sector has reached out to Gap for comment.

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