Gap Is Counting On This Woman To Bring People Back Into Its Stores

Tracy Gardner Gap

Photo: screenshot/ABC News

After a decade of struggling, Gap has finally started to come around.It reported higher sales this spring, and its new collection is a hit because it focuses on basics — khakis, denim, and brightly-coloured shirts — which is what made Gap an icon in the 1990s.

CEO Glenn Murphy has made a lot of savvy decisions lately, including convincing Tracy Gardner to step down as president of J. Crew and come back to Gap, where she was an executive back in 2004.

She’s been tasked with revitalizing the women’s apparel line as a consultant. During her time at J. Crew Gardner had the advantage of working with retail genius and CEO Mickey Drexler, as he turned J. Crew into one of the country’s most desirable brands.

In a note this morning, investment bank Jefferies was bullish on the company: 

We hosted meetings with GPS’s CEO/CFO and come away even more confident in the company’s improving strategic direction. We like that supply is being rationalized, higher return businesses (online) are being focused on, int’l expansion is being smartly managed in a capital light manner, and the product/design process is improving. Bottom line, despite this progress GPS is under-appreciated and under-owned and remains our top pick.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Gardner oversaw Gap’s spring 2012 line. Her work will first appear in the fall and winter 2012 lines, a Gap spokesperson told us.

Now read more about how Gap has finally resolved its decades-long identity crisis >

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