For nearly 10 years the race of retail survival has taken the industry as well as the media by storm. Since the beginning Gap Inc. has stolen headline after headline as onlookers anticipated the inedible end for the basic fashion retailer. We are looking towards 2019 and Gap still remains incredibly relevant, prevalent, and proceeds to grow. Afterall it is not the hare who inevitably comes out on top.
A Diversified Portfolio
Gap, inc. is a self-proclaimed “brand creator”. And although branding is a huge part of success, a brand can also lock a company into a fleeting craze. Sure, in the 90’s it was all the rage to walk around campus with your hands in the front pockets of a GAP hoodie. But today that is not so much the case; modest, unoriginal clothing has lost its appeal to the fast, sophisticated customer of the 21st century, and yet the company powers on. It is through the collaboration of brands they have sustained. Affordable, playful fashion giant Old Navy and their fitness-focused line Athleta are predictably the top earners of that collection.
Fun Fact: Gap originally offered to purchase Lululemon for 200 million dollars and was practically laughed out the door by the owner, who compared their stores as looking like ‘bowling alleys’.
For 50 million dollars less Gap purchase Athleta which is now not only holding its own fierce stance in the company’s varying portfolio, itis giving Lululemon a run for their money!
One Stop eShop
When a shopper visits Gap.com they are not just bombarded with simply a collection of white collared shirts and boring khakis, but instead, have the entire inventory of all the company’s brands at their fingertips. In one cart a customer can purchase not only their favorite Banna Republic cardigan for the company Christmas party, but grab a fresh cute look for their preschooler’s picture day at Old Navy.
An Efficient Protocol
As if their online shop is not efficient enough, Gap, Inc. is leading the industry in treating retail less like the stereotypical unpredictable unsteady part-time gig. Schedules are done two weeks in advance, guaranteeing at least 20 hours to the core team per week, and shifts cannot be cut. Is this still retail we are talking about here?
The results are remarkable. Time invested in scheduling is cut down from days to hours giving managers more time on the sales floor. The time assigned to employees is guaranteed to keep them committed to the store’s sustainability. And did I hear far less distraction from corporate level visits?! All of this to keep the team focused on the customers, merchandise, and shopping experience.
Until Next Time Fanboys and Girls–>