During the Jaffray 29th Annual Consumer Conference, Gap Inc. (San Francisco) chairman and chief executive officer Glenn Murphy announced that the company plans to remodel approximately 50 Old Navy stores in 2009. Internationally, the company will continue to open new stores, including approximately 40 new franchise locations by the end of the year. The retailer is also expanding its outlet business in the U.K., Japan and Canada.
“We’re pleased with the results we’ve seen from the new store prototype that has been tested this year in two Old Navy stores in California, and we’ll invest in 50 additional remodels this year,” says Murphy. “Early results demonstrate the new layouts create a better experience for our customers that better captures the unique energy that’s central to Old Navy’s fun personality.”
Murphy also reiterated the company’s efforts to stabilize its North American business by improving the efficiency of its economic model and focusing on leveraging creative talent throughout the company, and connecting with customers. “With our solid foundation and operational discipline in place, we’re now taking steps across our brands to gain back market share,” says Murphy. “Our healthy balance sheet also gives us the flexibility to make strategic investments for the future.”
The company’s online and international businesses continue to offer solid growth potential with plans to expand the offerings of its online shoe and handbag shop, Piperlime, including the addition of 50 new contemporary apparel labels later this summer.
In other news, the company announced that GapKids and babyGap (San Francisco) is collaborating with Stella McCartney on a new collection to be carried in select GapKids and babyGap stores in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Ireland and Japan, as well as online in the U.S. "For years now I've wanted to create a collection for kids,” says the designer. “I believe that this one off collaboration will be a great way for customers to be able to participate in the Stella McCartney brand. I believe that kids clothing should be more accessibly priced, which is particularly important at the moment given the current climate. It's really exciting for us to do a boys and girls collection for the first time."
McCartney launched her own fashion house under her name in 2001 in a joint venture with Gucci Group and has 14 flagships, including London, New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong and Paris, as well 600 wholesale accounts.