Gap Inc. (The Gap) is an international retailer specializing in clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies. It is one of the world's largest specialty retailers, with more than 3,100 stores worldwide and revenues of over $15.8 billion in 2007. Gap Inc. employs more than 150,000 employees around the world. The following report analyzes Gap Inc.'s structure, products, mission, revenues and leadership.
IntroductionThe first Gap store was opened in San Francisco in 1969. The name "The Gap" was a play on the Generation Gap; as such their target audience was teens and young adults. Don Fisher, the founder of The Gap, was a successful real estate developer when he founded the store, a fact that would later come into play with respect to the company's environmental policy. The late 1960s saw a surge in the wear and purchasing of blue jeans among the youth of America.
At that time Levi Strauss & Co, who was the chief manufacturer of blue jeans, sold their jeans primarily through larger department stores and clothing outlets. Fisher realized that a small chain of stores devoted to selling blue jeans could be much more effective and efficient in distributing jeans than the current merchandising outlets. Fisher opened his first store near San Francisco University, selling both records and blue jeans, with the intent that the record sales would draw in the customers, who would then buy the jeans. Unfortunately, the customers failed to notice the jeans for sale. After the near failure of his first new store, Fisher placed ads in local papers advertising jeans for sale at "rock bottom" prices. The jeans quickly sold and the Gap stores took off. By the end of 1970, The Gap had six stores and revenues of over $2 million.
The company thrived...