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Gap looks at closing stores in some European countries

·1 min read
A Gap Inc. retail store is shown in La Jolla
A Gap Inc. retail store is shown in La Jolla

(Reuters) - Gap Inc <GPS.N> is considering closing stores in some European countries, as the apparel retailer looks to save cash while dealing with a sales slump brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and competition from fast-fashion companies.

The San Francisco-based company, which had 129 Gap brand stores in Europe at the end of July, said late on Tuesday options being explored include the possible closure of outlets in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland and Italy by mid-2021.

The move comes as Gap struggles with out-of-fashion styles, which has pushed shoppers towards apparel brands like Zara and H&M. The coronavirus crisis has compounded troubles by stifling sales at brick-and-mortar sales across the globe.

However, online sales of Gap Inc's Old Navy and Athleta brands have surged since the start of the pandemic.

The company also said it was reviewing its warehouse and distribution model and its Gap and Banana Republic-owned e-commerce operations in Europe. (https://bit.ly/2FN0R6d)

Parts of Gap's European business could be transferred to third parties in a partnership model, the company said.

Earlier this year, Gap said it planned to close over 225 unprofitable Gap and Banana Republic stores globally as a part of a restructuring plan.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)