Gap closing 175 namesake stores to boost brand

NEW YORK (AP) – Gap is closing 175 of its namesake stores and eliminating 250 corporate jobs as it tries to strengthen its struggling Gap brand.

Gap, which owns Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, will close about 140 Gap U.S. stores in the fiscal year that ends Jan. 31 and the remainder afterward. The San Francisco company also is closing an undisclosed number of stores in Europe.

The stores have about $300 million in annual sales out of Gap’s total of $16 billion. Store closures are based on factors like location and performance.

The closures don’t include Gap Factory or Gap Outlet locations. And Gap doesn’t expect big changes at Old Navy and Banana Republic.

Gap said the job cuts at its headquarters are intended to make it faster and more decisive.