|Article first published as Why Gap Stores Are Losing Sales on Technorati.|
It was recently reported that Gap sales in stores has dropped 32% since 2004. They are now reorganizing and revamping their line of women’s clothing. It surprises me that this comes at such a shock to the company. I am old enough to remember when Gap stores first started appearing outside of major cities. The inventory consisted of jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc., which appealed to everyone. The clothes were well-made and reasonably priced. Throughout the years they changed to a more upscale style of apparel and totally lost the brand for which they were known.
The clothes for women seemed to be aimed at a certain demographic. Teens and those in their 20’s seem to be the main market. Unless you and tall and shaped like a pencil, the clothes are not flattering to most. Why do so many jeans have to be low-risers? I’m sorry, but after a couple of kids, low-riser jeans are not comfortable. I also don’t want to worry that they will fall off when I bend down. I remember having a pair of Gap jeans that were my favorite for many years. I know styles change, but other companies seem to be able to design jeans that fit a wider range of sizes and shapes for the same price or less.
The company has stated that they can’t get women’s shirts right. I did buy two shirts last spring. They were button down and made of very soft cotton. Before that, I probably hadn’t bought anything for ten years. Most of the shirts are made of a knit material that is often ribbed. Again, you have to have long limbs for these to look good. They are very form fitting as well. I could probably pull this off but I like to have room to move in my clothes. Why can’t they make shirts that have a wider appeal?
I’m not much of a fashion expert, but don’t think it should be so hard to understand what appeals to the average woman. Nobody seems to understand that most of us are not model materia,l and don’t need an expensive wardrobe to fit our lifestyle. I believe Gap stores would flourish if they went back to their origins. The baby boomers would be nostalgic, the young people would feel like they are going retro, and shoppers would return for another look.