Declining sales and store closures for Banana Republic
Two more major Banana Republic stores shutter their doors following the recent announcement that Mark Breitbard would become the new president and chief executive officer of the struggling brand starting in May.
Last weekend, Gap, Inc. announced the closing of two Arizona-based Banana Republic stores located in Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chandler Fashion Center. While it’s not yet clear whether the 8,000 square foot stores closed due to declining sales or an increase in rent and an expired lease, Gap, Inc. (which also owns and operates Old Navy, Athleta, Intermix and Gap) has experienced a decline in sales for five straight quarters last year, which prompted a company announcement stating a number of stores would be shuttered nationally and internationally.
The news of the store closures comes within a week of another announcement from Gap, Inc. that Mark Breitbard (previously CEO of Gymboree Corp.) would become the new president and chief executive officer of its challenged Banana Republic operations starting in May.
But Banana Republic certainly isn’t the only retailer struggling to make it in a bricks-and-mortar world. It’s been widely reported that Amazon and e-commerce sales are taking away retail sales (not to mention, jobs) from several brands across the board. Teen-friendly brands like Aeropostale and American Apparel were forced to file for Chapter 11 in February due to the lack of footfall, as more teens are purchasing via their smartphones than in a physical store.
While many malls like Scottsdale Fashion Square and Chandler Fashion Center are attempting to find and enhance their tenant mix, it’s an uphill battle as retailers like Wet Seal and The Limited are continuing to close locations.
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