In the past few years, even before the recession began, the Gap, one of the staple tenants at U.S. regional malls, has been experiencing waning popularity. Part of the problem might have been oversaturation, but another big factor seemed to be poor merchandise selection. With the entrance of new management and design teams, however, the retailer has done a pretty good job turning around its Old Navy and Banana Republic brands. Old Navy stores, in particular, have been projecting a whole new level of energy recently, with big crowds drawn in by a wide selection of cheap, colorful clothes and an expanded choice of accessories.
The Gap stores, however, still lag behind, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal. The 27-year-old customer interviewed in the article hits the nail on the head when she notes that too many of the clothes the Gap sells fit into a very conservative color scheme and there aren't enough dresses and skirts. But I also think the Gap's clothes are overpriced for what they are, a definite misstep in this market. Does anyone agree? And can Gap afford to knock about $10 to $15 off its merchandise?