Old Navy to Double Stores

Gap Inc. executives forecast a growth spurt in its physical stores by spinning off its Old Navy division.

Making Old Navy into a separate publicly traded company was announced in February. Gap executives held a Sept. 12 webcast to discuss the potential for growth in Old Navy and in Gap Inc., which will include the brands Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix and Hill City.

Old Navy currently runs a fleet of 1,140 physical stores across North America. With a spin-off, it can almost double the size of its store fleet to 2,000 locations, according to a presentation produced by Sonia Syngal, Old Navy’s global brand president and chief executive officer. Old Navy also intends to drive growth through a more muscular omni-channel retail strategy and through expanding its product categories.

Over the past few years, Old Navy has been one of Gap Inc.’s success stories, with the division’s same-store sales generally showing increases, while the Gap and Banana Republic divisions have frustrated Wall Street investors by not growing as fast as Old Navy.

Art Peck, president and chief executive officer of Gap Inc., also made a presentation Sept. 12 in which he outlined what’s next for Gap Inc.’s brands. The company hopes to rally the fortunes of the Gap and Banana Republic brands. Plans to build these brands include strengthening their omni-channel offerings as well as appealing to customers by further developing sustainability and social responsibility.