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Gap outlines strategy for the next three to five years

October 14, 2010 | 12:22 pm

Gap Inc. announced several strategic plans Thursday to help the apparel retailer gain market share online and move into more international markets.

At the company’s annual investor meeting in New York, executives outlined their strategy for the next three to five years. Gap -- parent company of the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands -- projected that by fiscal 2013, international and online sales would account for more than a quarter of its total net sales.

Through its stores and online channels, including third-party partnerships, the San Francisco company said it would be able to sell products to consumers in more than 80 countries by the end of 2010, up from 25 countries at the start of the fiscal year.

By the end of 2010, the company plans to open stores and offer online shopping in China and Italy.

“While never losing sight of our goal to gain market share in our North American businesses, our strong
portfolio of brands combined with several powerful platforms such as outlet, online and franchise give
us significant global runway,” said Glenn Murphy, chief executive of Gap Inc. “We’re making the
investments necessary to shift the balance of revenue over time to come increasingly from our online
and international businesses.”

Gap Inc. is also taking steps to gain market share and drive “modest, consistent sales improvements” in North America. Among its moves: Gap brand is evolving its product aesthetic, marketing and
store experience for its target millennial customer; Old Navy is rolling out additional store remodels, with the goal of completing 35% of its fleet by the end of 2011; and Banana Republic is improving its
marketing and testing new store formats.

The company also announced a range of initiatives aimed at increasing overall sales, including exploring opportunities to open Old Navy stores outside North America and doubling online net sales by 2015 as it expands Piperlime and Athleta and brings its online platform to Japan in 2011.

The company also announced plans to double the number of franchise stores from 200 to 400 by 2015.Gaplogo

Gap made headlines last week when it announced that it was updating its classic blue logo for a more modern one that featured a smaller blue box, a new font and lowercase letters. Many shoppers were outraged and took to online message boards and social media sites to criticize the new logo. On Monday, Gap backtracked and said it would stick to the old logo.

Shares of Gap were little changed at noon.

-- Andrea Chang