- Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck says he thinks it’s time for Banana Republic to start “inviting” in a new, more diverse set of customers.
- He told Bloomberg that Gap’s upscale apparel subsidiary was traditionally known as a “skinny brand,” but that it’s time for a shift.
- Banana Republic has undergone a number of recent struggles, including declining comparable sales.
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When it comes to sizing, it’s time for a regime change at Banana Republic, according to the CEO of the struggling retailer’s parent company.
“Banana Republic has historically been known as a skinny brand,” Gap CEO Art Peck said, according to Bloomberg.
Peck said that Banana Republic as a brand must open its doors to a more diverse audience by making room for plus-size options. Bloomberg reported that Banana Republic stocks up to size 16 in stores and up to size 20 online for some articles of clothing, but that the company would like to boost its selection up to size 26 or larger.
“The industry is overdue to really embrace the communities in a representative way that we all do business in,” Peck told Bloomberg.
A Gap representative did not return Business Insider’s request for further comment on Peck’s statements.
Gap acquired the chain in 1983, just five years after the apparel brand’s founding. Banana Republic started out as a safari-themed clothing retailer, according to AdWeek, but Gap tweaked the brand to become more upscale and preppy.
Peck’s comments come after a series of slips on the part of Banana Republic. In the second quarter of 2019, Banana Republic saw a comparable sales slump of 3%. Gap is shutting down all remaining Banana Republic stores in the United Kingdom, according to the Guardian.
Gap Inc. also announced in February that it would be spinning off Old Navy.
Of Gap’s various brands, Peck told Bloomberg that he wanted Banana Republic in particular to start “inviting a customer that hasn’t probably shopped at that brand to come in.”
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