(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Following reports of international expansion to dozens of countries worldwide, Gap Inc. announced that it would be closing 189 U.S. stores by 2013.
The 189 stores make up 21 percent of the U.S. chain. "This is not a condemnation of our home country, but we are making a prediction that it’s slow growth here," Gap Inc. C.E.O. Glenn Murphy said in an address to investors.
Gap Inc., which operates the Banana Republic and Old Navy chains, will be closing the full-price Gap locations, but planning to open approximately 50 Gap outlet stores in the U.S., which will sell the company’s apparel at deeper discounts.
Meanwhile, Gap Inc.’s international sales increased 16 percent in the first half of 2011, attributed the to sheer number and pace of openings around the world. Over the past five years, the company has opened approximately 200 Gap and Banana Republic franchise stores in 29 countries. Gap Inc. currently has franchise agreements in place to open in 33 additional countries.
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