3,920 $m
Gap Inc.’s flagship brand is on track to be in 54 countries by year-end as the company builds a global runway. The Gap brand is the cornerstone of the company’s China strategy, wooing the nation’s youthful “golden generation” with 80 Gap stores this year, seven outlet stores, and e-commerce. Eyeing nimbler rivals H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo, Gap is addressing inventory management through tighter relationships with supply chain partners. It’s also moving to rapid-response manufacturing to navigate fashion, color, and design trends, which will improve speed to market, minimize risks with assortment, and make it easier to restock merchandise and increase orders of popular items. Looking to differentiate with consistently great products, compelling marketing (its “Back to Blue” campaign is its biggest to date), and a seamless customer experience, Gap is working toward an integrated omnichannel experience and true personalization. For instance, its San Francisco and Chicago locations are testing a “reserve in store” feature for shoppers, while Gap’s Styld.by co-creation platform for fashion, music, and lifestyle bloggers is going global. In the not too distant future, shoppers will scan jeans with a smartphone for in-store suggestions to complete an outfit. Gap has seen financial growth this year, but in a critical time for retailers, the brand must work to overcome its challenges, which in the wake of the factory collapse in Bangladesh, includes keeping vigilant watch over its supply chain.