just procrastinating

Monday, December 19, 2005

This article in Slate about the new Gap ads makes an observation that I've had recently:
Gap decided a while back that its retail stores were looking dated; the displays needed freshening up. So, the company made some changes in the layout of its shops.

Meanwhile, the company itself is in dire straits. In November, Gap Inc. reported its worst quarterly results in three years. Analysts said it's "time to get serious," and that the numbers suggest "customer defections continue unabated."

You can blame Gap's clothes. (I know I don't shop there anymore--none of their stuff appeals to me.) You can certainly blame the marketing. (Ad Age says Gap's focus on celebrity endorsements has been a big failure. I'm not surprised, especially since they chose really lame celebrities. Lenny Kravitz? Joss Stone??) But Gap has taken out its frustrations on the floor plans.

I'm certainly not Mr. Fancy Pants, but the Gap almost seems to have gone down market. In my mind it was a near peer of J.Crew and Aberchrombie back in the 90s, but now it's a step below. Gap used to be pretty solid on staple-type items. I used to get all my jeans there until a few years ago. Eventually, I drifted over to Banana Republic for jeans and never went back. Except for the occasional long sleeve thermal-type shirt, Gap has little else that works for me.

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