Gap departs high street as prime store locations left stranded by high-speed retail revolution

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Photo from GAP Philippines Facebook

By The Conversation

Yet another familiar fashion retailer is about to disappear from the British high street. The once-mighty Gap is the latest brand to pull down the shutters.

Following in the footsteps (and depleted footfall) of Debenhams, Topshop, and so many others, Gap’s move to online-only selling is further evidence of the accelerating change in consumer direction – away from physical stores and onto our screens.

Until 2008, the US company, which also trades the Banana Republic and Old Navy brands, had been the world’s largest fashion retailer. Back then, it relinquished its position at the top of the tree to Zara’s parent company, Inditex, and the years that followed have not been easy.

Over the past decade, sales declined as it sought to maintain an appealing mid-market product range at the right price. Gap came under more pressure from lower-priced fashion competitors – such as Primark – and rapidly growing online competition.

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