GAP has started a strategic review of options for its business in Europe, including the potential closure of company-operated stores in the UK, France, Ireland and Italy.
The firm, which had 129 branded stores in Europe including 70 in the UK as of July, is scheduling the closures in the second quarter in 2021.
The fashion retailer is also reviewing its warehouse and distribution model as well as the Gap and Banana Republic company-owned e-commerce operations in Europe, which may see the closure of the EU distribution centre, located in Rugby.
“We will look at transferring elements of the business to interested third parties as part of a proposed partnership model expansion,” the US company said.
“Franchise partnerships are a strong and cost-effective way to amplify the brand. Through franchise, Gap brand reaches customers in 35 countries with more than 400 stores and 14 e-commerce sites.”