It looks like New York may not be closing the Gap after all, at least not all the way.
Yesterday, The Observer reported that the Gap was going to close 12 to 15 stores in the five boroughs, a move that made some sense given the slumping economy, still high rents in many parts of the city and a general retrenchment by the world’s second largest fashion retailer. The Observer reached out to the company repeatedly but never heard back until now. Spokeswoman Louise Callagy sent along the following statement contradicting the reports of our reliable retail source:
We’ve talked openly about our Gap Inc. real estate consolidation strategy as we focus on a natural pruning of the portfolio which involves closing some stores, adding some stores to maximize brand health. We’re not in the practice of sharing any specific market by market plans, but we’re committed to Manhattan as an incredibly important market to us, and we have no intention of significantly reducing our presence there. Some of our highest volume, most successful stores globally are in Manhattan.
When asked exactly how many stores would be closing in the city and when, she demurred. “We can’t get into providing market by market specifics BUT it is extremely exaggerated,” Ms. Callagy wrote in an email. Just keep an eye out for those navy-and-white shopping bags to be sure.