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Glenn Murphy, CEO of Gap Inc., in late August announced that his company will cut back on store openings and reduce its square footage by up to 15% over the next three years. The decision came after Gap, which owns the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains, did an analysis finding that its stores occupied too much space. “We’ve never had a clear real estate strategy,” Murphy said during a conference call. “We now have that information, and it will allow us to make quick decisions.” Fifty-eight percent of you believe there’s more to it than Murphy is letting on, and that Gap will close more stores than the 115 already announced earlier this year. The numbers were evenly split between respondents to last week’s Quick Poll who think Gap will find a real estate solution and those who believe the chain, which has already closed 800 units over the past six years, will “fall through the Gap.” Commentator Jeffrey D. Roseman, EVP at Newmark Knight Frank Retail in New York City, says he isn’t surprised either by the overwhelming poll numbers or Gap’s moves. Here’s why:

“I think it’s been a long time coming. They had a great run in the 1990s, and now they have to reinvent themselves. They have to retool, and get lean and mean again.

“They’ve been closing stores over the years, so this just follows along with that. And a lot of those leases are coming up anyway. They were signed 10 or 15 years, so they’re coming up now. It fits well. They have an opportunity to renew them at market rents, which is a lot more than they were paying, but I’m not sure they’re at that point yet.”

“It’s hard to tell if they might reposition some of them. If they’re already planning to close stores, they’re going to close them. The Gaps are not that big to begin with—maybe 5,000 sf. If they make them any smaller, I’m not sure what they can do with them.

“It’s the end of a cycle; it’s common. There aren’t a lot of retailers who have been around for many cycles.

“I don’t buy it that they never had a real estate strategy. They had a really good strategy; they were very, very good at what they did at the time. That was before Murphy’s regime, so maybe that’s what he’s referring to. But they haven’t opened stores in probably 10 years, certainly not in our region. They’ve tried a few other concepts that didn’t work. But they had a great strategy in Mickey Drexler’s day; they were as good as it got.”

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