Gap Is Closing These Banana Republic Locations, Starting Next Year
The company has already confirmed closures for 2023.
Banana Republic has been a staple in shopping malls since the '90s. But as consumers have been moving away from malls, retailers that made their home there have been taking quite a hit. In fact, notable companies like Sears, Macy's, JCPenney, and Dillard's have all closed a huge number of stores over the past few years. And now, Gap is getting ready to do the same with some of its Banana Republic locations. Read on to find out which stores are now confirmed to be closing next year.
READ THIS NEXT: Dollar General and Family Dollar Are Closing Stores, Starting Dec. 3.
Gap has been battling declining sales and profits.
Gap Inc. has been working to bounce back amid financial problems. The company announced in Sept. 2022 that it would be cutting around 500 corporate jobs from its workforce, The Wall Street Journal first reported. According to the newspaper, this move is being made to reduce expenses as Gap struggles with declining sales and profits.
"We've let our operating costs increase at a faster rate than our sales, and in turn, our profitability," Bob Martin, Gap's executive chairman and interim chief executive, wrote in a September memo to employees, per The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reported that store sales for the company were down 10 percent in the most recently reported financial quarter.
The company is closing some Banana Republic stores next year.
But it's not just corporate jobs on the chopping block. Gap Inc. is also set to drop two prominent Banana Republic stores from its lineup in the near future. On Nov. 8, the Charlotte Business Journal reported that the Banana Republic at Birkdale Village in the Huntersville suburb of Charlotte will likely close next year. North American Properties, which owns the Birkdale shopping center, confirmed to the newspaper that the Gap store is set to shutter when its lease expires in 2023.
"We are still in negotiation with the brand we anticipate taking its space and cannot share that information until the lease is fully executed," North American Properties spokeswoman Britni Johnson told the Charlotte Business Journal.
Gap Inc. has also already made plans to shutdown its Banana Republic store in the popular Magnificent Mile shopping area of Chicago, The Real Deal reported on Oct. 12. According to the outlet, this location will remain open until 2023 as well, but will shutter when its lease expires early next year.
"We weren't really surprised," Brian Hopkins, the alderman for Chicago's second ward, told NBC 5 Chicago. "Their lease came up and they said 'we're not gonna renew. We're out of here.'"
Several Banana Republic locations have already shuttered recently.
These upcoming closures may not come as a surprise to shoppers. After all, Gap Inc. has already closed roughly 100 Banana Republic stores across North America since 2020. And a few of the retailer's stores were shut down this year.
Back in June 2022, two Banana Republic stores shuttered permanently: one in Midland, Texas, and the other in Winnipeg, Canada. Then in Colorado, the Banana Republic at the downtown Denver Pavilions mall closed its doors permanently after its last day of operation on Sept. 25, The Denver Post reported.
Gap Inc. also permanently shut down its Banana Republic European e-commerce sites this year. According to Just Style, both BananaRepublic.eu and BananaRepublic.uk were taken offline in May 2022. "Farewell for now," the UK site now reads. "This website is permanently closed."
But the company is planning to continue closing Gap stores as well.
The journey is not likely to end with just the two confirmed Banana Republic closures in 2023. Gap Inc. has been shuttering stores since 2020, when it first announced plans for a major three-year revamp to its retail footprint. At the time, the company revealed that it was planning to close a total of 350 retail locations throughout North American by early 2024, the Associated Press (AP) reported. This will include the closure of 220 of its namesake Gap stores and 130 Banana Republic stores, according to the news outlet.
"We've been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores," Gap Brand President and CEO Mark Breitbard said in a 2020 statement. "We've used the past six months to address the real estate issues and accelerate our shift to a true omni-model."
On its website, Gap Inc. describes the closures as its "North America store fleet transformation" meant to leave the company with a smaller and healthier fleet of stores. "As we adapt to the current market conditions and meet the increase in online demand, we are looking thoughtfully at our real estate to support the best path forward," Gap explained.