Photo: Image: AP
The Gap could close as many as 12 to 15 stores in New York City, the New York Observer reports, including “marquee” properties in Manhattan.According to the Observer’s source, the stores will be shuttered over the next few years. Gap spokeswoman Louise Callagy responded to the claims after they were published, saying that the size of the hypothetical closures was “extremely exaggerated,” but did confirm that stores would close as part of company-wide consolidation efforts.
This isn’t great timing for the world’s second-largest clothing retailer. This month, Uniqlo will open two flagship stores in New York City occupying over 159,000 square feet in total, and the Japanese giant has been frank about its goal of overtaking The Gap in sales.
Though closing stores would damage The Gap’s visibility, the lightening of rent and maintenance burdens could help the bottom line enough to make the move worthwhile. As of July 31, the retailer expects to close 125 stores and open 200 worldwide in fiscal year 2011, but within North America, 60 stores will close and only 20 will open.
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