Gap to close all UK and Ireland stores and go online-only

Gap has announced plans to close all of its UK stores (Getty)

High street retail giant Gap has announced it will be closing all 81 stores in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2021.

The fashion retailer announced that it was going to focus on its online operation instead.

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At a glance: 5 key points

  • Closures include the 19 stores that were already scheduled to close in July as their leases were expiring
  • The company said it intends to take business online “in a phased manner” from the end of August through to the end of September this year
  • It added it would provide “support and transition assistance” to colleagues following the closures, though did not specify how many employees had been affected
  • The retailer has been active in the UK since 1987 and has had stores in the Republic of Ireland since 2006
  • The announcement comes following a strategic review aimed at “finding new, more cost-effective ways to maintain a presence and serve customers in Europe”.

What’s been said

In a statement, Gap said: “In the United Kingdom and Europe, we are going to maintain our Gap online business.

“The e-commerce business continues to grow and we want to meet our customers where they are shopping.”

Background

A spokesperson for the firm said Gap is becoming a web-first business and it’s looking for a partner to help drive their online market.

Bosses are now proposing to close all company-operated Gap Specialty and Gap Outlet stores in the United Kingdom and is moving through the consultation process with its European team.

It comes as historic department store chain Debenhams shut its remaining stores across the UK for good in May – after the company collapsed amid the fallout of the pandemic.