Gap has announced plans to close all 81 of its UK and Ireland stores following a strategic review of its European business.
The move comes as a part of the group’s 2023 power plan, which commenced with a strategic review of Gap’s European operations last year.
While the closures will affect all Gap Specialty and Gap Outlet stores, the group will still maintain an e-commerce presence in both markets.
The group’s “digital first” business strategy will be driven by finding partners for potential acquisition in the UK, as it has done with Hermoine People and Brands, the retail branch of FIB Group, to take over the firm’s stores in France.
Gap said that it is currently moving through the consultation process with its European team as it intends to transition to the winding down of its UK and Ireland stores from the end of August through to the end of September 2021.
The retailer has been present in the UK since 1987 and the Republic of Ireland since 2006, with them hoping to “maintain” their position in these markets.
In a statement the group said: “We believe in Gap’s global brand power. We are executing against Gap’s Power Plan and partnering to amplify our global reach. Through a strategic review begun last fall of our Gap European business, we conducted a thorough evaluation of each market and potential partners.
“We are in negotiations with FIB to take over all company-operated Gap stores in France by October. In Italy, we are in discussions with a partner for the potential acquisition of our Gap stores.”
They added: “We will continue to run and operate our Gap e-commerce business in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. We are proposing to close all company operated Gap Specialty and Outlet stores in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in a phased manner between the end of August and the end of September 2021.