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Gap Separates U.S., Int. Stores

January 17, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Slumping retailer Gap Inc. said Wednesday it will separate the domestic and international operations of its flagship clothing chain in an effort to boost its sagging sales.

Chief executive Millard Drexler will run the Gap chain in the United States until a new president is found. Ken Pilot, formerly head of the Gap brand worldwide, will continue to oversee the Gap’s international stores.

The shift comes as the San Francisco-based Gap tries to recapture the fashion sense that helped make it one of the most successful retailers of the 1990s.

Sales have been steadily declining during most of the two years that the company operated the U.S. and international chains as a single organization.

``Gap faces challenges and opportunities in our U.S. and international markets that demand different management skills and levels of attention,″ Drexler said Wednesday. ``Separate divisions and leadership teams will help us manage Gap brand more effectively.″

The Gap has 4,179 stores, including 665 in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan and Canada. Besides its flagship Gap chain, the company also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic.


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