Tuesday, July 31, 2007

If everyone knows how to fix Gap then the new CEO should have an easy time of it

Gap's new CEO doesn't have a fashion retail background but I don't think that's a problem. An hour of Googling should give him all the solutions he needs. Really, everyone has an opinion about what went wrong. Everyone has an opinion about what will make it right.

Even Jezebel has offered advice: "Stop paying celebrities whose careers so distinctly encapsulate your precise brand of we-can't-even-believe-we're -still-doing-this desperation." But apparently that one's gonna be tough. According to today's Page Six: "John Mayer is...one of the many new faces of Gap. The newly single musician was shot by Annie Leibovitz for the 'Classics Redefined' campaign, along with Forest Whitaker, Liev Schreiber, Lucy Liu and Selma Blair."

I don't know. I'm beginning to think that if everyone thinks they know the answer, there is no answer. Too cynical?


sueniverse said...

Could they actually become a clothing company for women of a certain age - i.e. between 21 and 65? I'd spend ALL of my money there.

Irene Done said...

You know, that's funny. I think the Slate writer argues that one of Gap's problems is that, while its target may be teens and young 20s, Gap more often attracts parents of teens. If that's true, why not go with it? I don't think they can because Gap sees itself as young, young, fashion-savvy and young (which is not necessarily how anyone else sees it). They did briefly try to target women 40 and over with stores called Forth & Towne (or something like that) then quickly abandoned it.

But yeah: I'd be a faithful customer anywhere that had cool clothes but no teens to ruin the instore experience. I'm thinking a bar/boutique would be perfect.

Anonymous said...

One problem with going after the more "mature" customer is that no one in their corporate merchandising positions is "mature". Of course you have heads of brands that are of that age, but the vast majority of merchants are between the ages of 21-27. And these merchants are driving the strategies for future growth. Worse, I would say that probably 95% of the merchants for all of Gap, inc have no prior merchandising experience. Most of the merchants hold business degrees and came straight out of school.
You should see how these merchants dress to go to work. Jeans and rumpled non ironed shirts on the guys, jeans and skin tight revealing tops on the girls.