Rhode Island management jobs may suffer after a surprising announcement from retail store Gap this week.
Gap said it it closing several hundred of its brick-and-mortar stores in America to open several more in China and to focus on its online sales.
In a press release, the company said it ?expects the division to hit $1.5 billion in revenue by the end of this year, on track to reach $2 billion in revenue and operating income of $500 million by the end of fiscal 2014.
A company exec said that his team will considerably expand its successful “ship-from-store” pilot – which taps into store inventory to meet strong online demand – from 25 Banana Republic stores to 270 Banana Republic, Gap and Athleta stores by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. In addition, given the rise in mobile shopping and the strength of the company’s new mobile commerce platform, conversion rates have tripled over the past year. The division also expects to test its ship-from-store concept in Old Navy next year.
The company also said is it making progress on its goal of reducing square footage in North America and is on track to achieve a 10 percent reduction in overall store square footage by fiscal year 2012, when compared to 2007. At Gap, the company is committed to rebalancing its specialty and outlet stores within North America, resulting in about 700 Gap specialty stores and about 250 Gap Outlet stores by year end 2013.
This represents a 34 percent decrease in the Gap specialty store fleet when compared to the end of 2007. At Old Navy, the brand’s strategy is to have roughly the same number of stores in North America with a smaller footprint. The brand plans to continue downsizing its fleet in North America, and expects to potentially remove another 1 million square feet by fiscal year end 2013.
“The combination of our global strategy and formidable growth platform puts us in a strong position to expand our reach into the top 10 apparel markets worldwide,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc. “In North America, we’re taking a number of steps to improve sales in the near-term, and I’m confident that with a strong management team in place, we’re well positioned for sustained growth across the business.”
The plan could also affect Fayetteville retail jobs as well.