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A Quarter of the Gap's NYC Stores Will Soon Cease to Exist

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The Gap on Fifth Avenue, image via <a href="http://gonyc.about.com/od/shopping/ig/Fifth-Avenue-Shopping-Tour/Gap.htm%22">GoNYC</a>
The Gap on Fifth Avenue, image via GoNYC

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Did you know that the Gap has a whopping 35 stores throughout NYC's five boroughs? Well, maybe we should say had a whopping 35 stores, because the Observer reports that the retailer is planning to shutter one-fourth of them. That means one polo-pushing, denim-selling Gap outpost for every four will be eliminated. The stores that will close have yet to be announced, but according to an unnamed real estate executive, "They are very much looking at the high streets."

The Observer blames the closures on "changing tastes and intense competition from cheap-chic rivals like H&M and Uniqlo." They also point out that it's not the '90s anymore: "For decades, the Gap represented the sort of blasé casualness most Americans brought to their fashion. From men's closets stuffed with baggy khaki cargos to high school girls repurposing those iconic navy-and-white shopping bags as backpacks, the Gap was America's premier clothier."

Stifel Nicolaus retail analyst Richard Jaffe seems to think that 35 Gaps might be a few too many. "They don't need to be in every mall anymore," he says, "just the best malls." He also throws his two cents in about which non-mall Manhattan stores should close. "Are they closing Fifth Avenue? That would surprise me. Do they need a difficult-shaped store in the 80s on the West Side? Maybe not." Okay, okay, Manhattan rents are pricey. But they did just make some extra money selling $1.69 tacos out of a truck, didn't they?
· Closing the Gap: Retailer Will Shutter 1-in-4 Stores in New York City [NYO]
· The Gap Wants to Sell You Tacos from a Truck for $1.69 [Racked NY]