business

Gap to close 75 stores outside North America, including all 53 Old Navy stores in Japan

35 Comments
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO

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When I go the GAP in Japan I always leave wide eyed in astonishment at how they charge literally double what they do in the states for the same item here. I also leave without buying any things.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This doesn't sound right? there can't even be 53 Old Navy stores to close? I only know of the odaiba one and maybe a couple of others?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

You probably do not go during the sales where they are almost giving good quality stuff away thepersoniamnow ! Sad to here this news and its not going to be a small number of staff affected here !

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I like their high quality cotton sweaters, and sometimes t-shirts. My wife loves the jeans but the price is too high in Japan even with 1/2 off. Also, their baby and kids clothes last forever.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Haven't been to Gap for well over a decade, when I switched to Uniqlo.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So all of them are going ? I liked old navy as it was a good place to buy clothes for my kids and jeans for me that last ages. Of course, we only buy when they have sales.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

GAP had its time and place; Uniqlo filled it and finished them off. Don't need both.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Don't need both.

Disagree. Both shops offer different variety of clothes. I like both stores, especially when GAP runs a sale its pretty decently priced. Look f.e. at Zara, they also sell their stuff 3 times the price of their European counterpart.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

*lonelygaijin2001May. 20, 2016 - 10:01AM JST

So all of them are going ?*

Yes, all of them. The article should be updated to state that Gap is pulling the Old Navy brand out of Japan completely by the end of this year.

That sucks, I liked Old Navy, I thought they had a good niche between (slightly overpriced) Gap and (poor quality) Uniglo.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Papigiulio: "Disagree. Both shops offer different variety of clothes. "

Ultimately it's a matter of opinion, and when Uniqlo began I would have agreed with you: it was all cheap fleeces and puffy pajamas. Now, though, Uniqlo has all the styles of GAP (perhaps not all Old Navy) and then some. Evidently the people think so as well. Uniqlo's service itself differs, though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@doggmatic

I am wondering the same thing. Where are these 53 Old Navy stores in Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@blvtzpk, there was a Gap that just opened last year in Sapporo. Less than a year of being open, and it's already closing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I disagree with some posters above - Gap and UniQlo do have significantly different offerings. I think that UniQlo's clothes are much more distinctively Japanese in design, while Gap's are noticeably more Western - in terms of cuts, colors, and designs. As a non-Japanese shopper, UniQlo clothes sometimes run much too skinny for me - though I'm certainly not the target shopper. UniQlo clothes are much more brightly colored and sometimes garish, while Gap's are more subtle.

There's a big Gap near where I work, and I've always noticed that the store constantly seems to be running big sales. Every week there seem to be 50% off, 30% off, 60% off sales - I can't remember the last time I didn't see one of those big signs in the windows. And no wonder - the sticker prices there can be utterly ridiculous, especially compared to its identical products overseas.

A new Old Navy was opened in my station last summer. It's been shrinking ever since - the big variety it started with shrunk and shrunk. It's never busy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@smith

Uniqlo has all the styles of GAP (perhaps not all Old Navy) and then some

Maybe for adult styles, but for kids and babies the quality at Uniqlo is far below GAP.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

GAP stores aren't being closed in Japan according to the article, just the Old Navy stores.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's too bad. I rather like Old Navy .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@RealityofFake Thanks, but I was asking about Old Navy stores rather than Gap stores. I understand that Gap Inc. controls these brands, but I am questioning the existence of the '53 Old Navy stores in Japan' cited in the article. Where are these 53 Old Navy stores?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm not sure if I can post a link, but for all those wondering where these 53 Navy stores are, I'm guessing right in the link, which comes directly from Old Navy Japan.

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/info.do?cid=1045994&mdts=true&mlink=null,11708853,jp_nav&clink=11708853#google-map

I was never good at math, so I'll let someone else do the counting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That sucks because Gap makes some good stuff tailored for Western people. I really like their stuff. I guess HIS or Crombie will take over

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like my local Old Navy stores as they got clothing with the right leg and arm length for this foreigner, most Japanese clothes are too short or bulky if they got right length.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Having a foreign franchise in Japan is a tough sell. So many have come and gone, and I barely see any customers in the ones here.

Gap was a good store, but I guess the locals prefer Uniqlo. I hate their stuff; it doesnt fit and has no imagination to it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Low quality and too expensive. Thought they would keep milking the customers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I miss the old Banana Republic when the quality was top notch before Gap bought them out. Loved the hand drawn catalog too. Still do own their canvas shirt that's over 30yrs old!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Went to Old Navy today in a satellite suburb shopping mall here in regional shikoku and bought 3 items.

A pair of stretch fit jeans marked down to ¥2000 from 4900 ; a pair of cool shoes for my daughter marked down from ¥4950 to 700 ; a top for my wife marked down from ¥3000 to 700. Also if you joined up there was a further 10% discount and today was the malls 5% off the total day - so bargains were had. Lucky timing I thought.

Came home and saw the news - bye bye Old Navy. Going back tomorrow to add on a few more things.

I like the casualness of many of their clothes - pity it will go. This branch here seems to be pretty popular, but i guess that means nothing when "All have to go".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Was happy to hear that Old Navy would come to Japan only to discover when they opened that they only carried mens clothes up to size L. For an XL to XXL tall guy like me that meant that I could buy nothing in the store. :-(

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Gap was the only place, a long long time ago (Star Wars reference for effect) where you could find all the Levi's products and sizes.

The Gap and their other brands where consistently one of the few companies that looked for non-sweatshop conditions, and if found, would investigate, shutdown/cancel the contract, and even destroying the product in some cases. Hence the higher prices, as well as the tarrifs and taxes that Japan applies.

One poster on this article rails about human/transgender/womens rights but it seems will log off their computer and have no problem walking into a uniqlo or some other sweatshop store. Hmmmmmm.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

GAP had its time and place; Uniqlo filled it and finished them off. Don't need both.

Respectfully, Smith, I'm going to have to disagree. Gap and Uniqlo are most certainly not interchangeably brands, either in style or quality. Gap clothing very much fits a specific niche in styling and target audience that is markedly different from the target audience for Uniqlo.

Sure, Uniqlo has its occasional hit items, but by and large, the quality is still lacking for much of their product line, from hyper-thin fabrics to low-durability elastics to a virtual guarantee things will shrink an entire size with the very first washing, despite following the care-for instructions (this applies to Uniqlo's entire line of wool offerings which develop fabric-pills within two washings, no matter how delicately one handles them).

While fashion is most certainly a matter of personal taste, Gap clothes are still built to a visibly higher standard of quality than Uniqlo garments. Yes, Gap is also arguably more expensive, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Not so with Uniqlo which tried to buck that marketplace truism in recent years by charging higher prices for many of its product line without any appreciable increase in quality. Consumers were not getting what they paid for. The result? A sharp drop in sales. Now, Uniqlo is in the same economic boat as Gap, with many shoppers holding off on purchases until the item they want hits the sale bins.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

blvtzpk,

It's in Japanese, but it's the store locator page for Old Navy Japan. There are a bunch of them from all the way up north in Hokkado to the south in Okinawa. Peruse at your leisure....

Link: Old Navy Japan Store Locations

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/info.do?cid=1045994&mdts=true&mlink=null,11743949,jp_nav&clink=11743949#google-map

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Personally I thought they all looked the same and they all buy cheap stuff from China and its probably just re-branded. So quite frankly I think they should go, then there may be the opportunity for people to actually buy some thing different and original than seeing the same micro thin made material from old PET bottles being almost uniform like when people could have the chance not wear the UNIQLO, Old Navy all the same uniforms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@LFRAgain

Sure, Uniqlo has its occasional hit items, but by and large, the quality is still lacking for much of their product line.

That's the impression I get.

I'd always assumed they were a Japanese replica of Hong Kong's Giordano stores, which started in 1981, though as with some other Japanese brands (like Muji), Uniqlo has also achieved some popularity internationally.

For the most part, they provide what you would expect - serviceable discount clothes that don't last too long.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I, for one, won't miss Old Navy a bit. I've gone there a few times and found nothing worthwhile to me. GAP is sometimes OK (not closing GAP, just OLD NAVY). I find UNIQLO far better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like the GAP in the market has closed up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This doesn't sound right? there can't even be 53 Old Navy stores to close? I only know of the odaiba one and maybe a couple of others?

Just check their website ...there are plenty of stores. (or I should say "were")

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sad to see Gap and Old Navy leave, but they won't be the last.

It isn't the variety or quality which drives Uniqlo's success, but the locations of it's outlets, which are in all major shopping centers, train stations, and other places. Having kids, I like having more options for clothes, not fewer. It seems Uniqlo wants to be the Walmart of apparel in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No wonder Old Navy is closing - totally uninspiring clothes. I'd only buy GAP clothes on sale - never pay full price.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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