In recent years, it has seemed that the brick and mortar store is dying, so it is a rare occurrence when a store announces that they will be opening more physical stores. Old Navy, owned by Gap, recently announced that they will be opening 60 stores in 2018. While they are increasing the amount of Old Navy stores, customers will see a decline in the number of Gap and Banana Republic stores. These stores’ performance have been much lower than that of Old Navy in recent years.
So why exactly is Gap opening more Old Navy locations? To keep up with evolving customer needs and expectations. Customers no longer enjoy shopping in malls, but instead prefer outdoor retail shopping centers. Gap CEO Art Peck said it best when he said, “If you think about it, the real estate we have exited tends to be clustered at some of the older … malls that the customer isn’t as excited about anymore. We’ve moved to where the customer is.”
This just shows how dedicated the company is to keeping the customer at the center of key business decisions. This year, Old Navy stores will also be getting major upgrades and renovations including improved fitting rooms, checkout counters, and bathrooms. Old Navy’s app will also be improved, creating a simple user interface where customers can check whether particular items are in stock and monitor their loyalty points. The store will also be doing a trial run of “buy online pick up in store” in a few locations.
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