Why is Gap closing all stores and including outlet stores?

High street retailer Gap has announced it will close all of its stores in the UK and Ireland by the end of September.

The change will see the clothing brand move online only, with 81 stores involved in the phased closure throughout the summer.

Stores in France and Italy are also subject to closures as the company reviews its business model.

Here’s everything you need to know about why stores are closing and if that includes outlets?

Why is Gap closing all of its stores in the UK?

The clothing brand which opened in 1987 decided to close all UK stores after sales fell 9.5% in 2020, a loss of £40.7million for the business.

In response, Gap launched a strategic review of its European operations, with the company citing the dramatic shift to online shopping in the UK as the reason for the overhaul.

Do the closures include factory outlets?

The 81 closed stores include all Gap outlet stores.

Scotland is currently home to three Gap factory outlets, located at Oceans Terminal in Edinburgh, Sterling Mills in Tillicoultry and Livingston, all of which will be closed by the end of September.

Will I still be able to shop at Gap?

Gap is becoming what it describes as a “digital-first” business, so you’ll still be able to shop from the online store.

What other high street stores are now online only?

Gap joins a list of famous brands that have left the British high street for good over the past year.

Debenhams was acquired by Boohoo and now operates exclusively online.

Meanwhile, online platform ASOS bought Topshop and Topman in a deal that did not include the brands’ stores, meaning all UK stores will close.

Miss Selfridge was bought under the same deal, with all of its high street stores closing and moving online to the ASOS website.