Gap Closing Piperlime
San Francisco–based retail giant Gap Inc. announced plans to shutter its online footwear-driven unit, Piperlime, by the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2015.
The company said the decision was part of a “ long-term strategy of driving profitable top-line sales, powered by its global brands and innovative ability to reach customers in new and differentiated ways.” Gap will now focus its efforts on its Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix units as well as on digital and global growth.
“We plan to keep on pushing new ideas and look forward to seeing how we can apply what we’ve learned to the rest of the company as we continue to bring great products and shopping experiences to our customers,” said incoming Chief Executive Officer Art Peck.
The company does not report Piperlime’s sales independent of its other brands, but the company did call it “by far the smallest of the company’s portfolio, with yearly revenue below $100 million, representing less than 1 percent of Gap Inc.’s total revenue base of over $16 billion.”
Launched in 2006, Piperlime sells footwear, apparel and accessories with trends and key styles promoted by guest editors such as Rachel Zoe and Olivia Palermo.
Shortly after announcing its plans for Piperlime, Gap announced plans to eliminate the Gap creative director position held by Rebekka Bay, who will leave the company immediately.
“I would personally like to thank Rebekka for her passion and the creative processes she’s brought to the brand,” Jeff Kirwan, global brand president of Gap, said in a statement. “She has helped develop a dynamic design team, some of the best creative talent in the industry, and I’m confident that our strong bench of senior designers will see the brand into its next phase. As we look to the future, now is the right time to make these changes and focus the brand on delivering casual, American style and building strong relationships with our customers around the world.”
In the same announcement, Gap promoted Scott Key to senior vice president and general manager of customer experience, where he will oversee the combined e-commerce and marketing departments.
Key has held several positions at Gap Inc., in the growth, innovation and digital division, most recently overseeing customer-engagement marketing.
“Now’s the time to intensify our customer focus and break-through with a truly dynamic and integrated approach to building relationships with our customers,” Kirwan said. Scott will help us bring together our marketing and digital expressions so each interaction with our customers is consistent and compelling. It’s a customer-first approach that reflects how people shop today.”