The Gap’s namesake store has been trying to climb out of a retail black hole for a couple years now, but it seems like even its more stable siblings can’t save it from its most recent unravelling. The troubled brand contributed to a 5% global sales drop for parent company The Gap, despite positive results for Banana Republic and Old Navy.
Along with appointing a promising new CEO, Gap has taken several steps in the past to salvage its brand. Last year it became one of the earliest adopters of digitally advanced features including Reserve Online and Pick Up in Store, showing that it was willing and ready to embrace the online shopping movement before the trend picked up among its peers. However, it fell short in email marketing as it focused on perpetual discounting at the expense of personalized content and the integrity of the brand itself. This is a particular shame, since the brand leads in traffic and email list sizes.
Gap continues to outspend other retailers on digital advertising and paid search, helping keep it afloat as a Gifted brand in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail. More noteworthy, however, is that its engagement on Instagram, which is fast becoming the most popular social media network, has recently stalled. If the retailer wants to improve its situation, perhaps Instagram is the place to look.