Gap tends to find the most success when it sticks to its model of authentic, casual
style and Americana. Along with the rise of "normcore," a simplified approach
to essential style, the back-to-basics retailer's profits exceeded expectations and rose by 10 percent in
the second quarter of this year. The brand's "Dress Normal" campaign, which, as the brand put it, was "a rallying cry to be
confident in who we are by dressing how we're most comfortable," seeks to
capitalize on this strength. Creative
Director Rebekka Bay launched her first complete collection in stores this
year, "Lived-In," to communicate the
brand's iconic and newly resonant style.
year, Gap's online net sales increased 21 percent. In an effort to integrate
in-store and online initiatives, the company launched its "Reserve in Store"
program in select markets. It enables online and mobile shoppers to reserve
items and pick them up in-store- a wise move as multichannel retailing becomes
increasingly important. Alongside this, Gap launched a Fifth Avenue concept
store and is increasing its focus on global retail expansion. The company already
has 81 stores in China and plans to enter Taiwan, Austria, and Slovenia this year and India next year.
To strengthen internal commitment, Gap increased employee salaries-which
prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to praise Gap's efforts and buy his family
gifts from the retailer. Net profits rose to USD $332 million as of July 2014 and
revenues increased by three percent to USD $3.98 billion. Gap has also enhanced its Styld.by platform with amplified
digital and video content and a broader range of creative influencers,
including popular bloggers, style experts, musicians, photographers, filmmakers
and artists to curate looks and express their version of "Dress Normal." Gap is betting that everyone
needs the basics (like jeans and a t-shirt), wants to be comfortable, and just
might find the perfect item to complete his/her authentic look among its iconic staples.