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Gap to close 19 stores across UK and Ireland

By Huw Hughes

Jun 9, 2021

US fashion retailer Gap is reportedly planning to close 19 stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland this summer as it streamlines its store estate.

The company has decided not to extend the lease of the affected stores when they expire on July 31 following a strategic review launched in autumn last year, Drapers reports.

The location of the affected stores have not yet been revealed.

Gap’s remaining 50 standalone and outlet stores in the UK and Ireland are still under review and will continue to operate until a decision has been made.

As part of the ongoing review, Gap plans to secure store partnership deals for each of the European countries it operates in, including the UK, France, Italy, and Ireland.

The company has already struck partnership deals in France and Italy, but has not yet confirmed a partnership deal for the UK and Ireland, according to Drapers.

Gap pushes forward with partnership model

In October 2020, Gap said it was considering closing all of its 129 owned European stores as it shifted to a franchise-only model in the region.

The retailer also said it was reviewing its European warehouse and distribution models and could close its European distribution centre in Rugby.

That news came after a similar announcement in June 2020 when Gap said it expected to close 225 Gap and Banana Republic stores within the next year.

In the first quarter of 2021, sales at Gap topped pre-Covid levels, up 89 percent to 3.99 billion dollars compared to last year when the pandemic was in full swing. Compared to two years ago, net sales were up 7.8 percent.

The company swung to a net income of 166 million dollars compared to a loss of 932 million dollars a year earlier.