Gap, Banana Republic stores closing

Gap shifts focus to Old Navy, Athleta, shutting 200 stores

It's going to be a little harder to find a Gap or Banana Republic store - but expect to see more Old Navy and Athleta locations pop up.

The company said that it is planning to unveil 70 net new stores and 270 Old Navy, Athleta and value expressions to its portfolio over the coming three years.

Both of those brands offer low-price, on-trend apparel that are proving highly popular among consumers, while the higher-priced Gap and Banana Republic brands continued to fall out of favor. Meanwhile, Athleta sales will eclipse $1 billion.

"This is an industry that is not historically rewarded scale and leverage", Gap CEO Arthur Peck told analysts at the conference.

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Closing the Gap took on new meaning Wednesday. That has resulted in sluggish traffic at the stores. During the same period, Gap expects to achieve $500 million in expense savings, a portion of which will be reinvested in these "growth initiatives".

The company has been offering frequent discounts to get shoppers to buy, but recently it's been trying to pull back on price cutting. The company has been cutting its store numbers over the last decade or so.

So far, the company has witnessed double-digit sales growth through its online and mobile businesses. It's also testing a subscription service at its Baby Gap brand.

Gap Inc shares were unchanged in premarket trading Friday.

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