Earlier this week GAP announced that it was closing a quarter of its stores due to slowing sales. Now, a former employee for one of the company’s remodeled $1 million stores, is speaking out against the company and the poor decisions it made during the recession.
In 2006, Bree Davies started working as a sales associate for a Gap store in Denver. In a post on Racked she explains how the company’s decision to remodel her store, led to confusion among customers and stress among remaining employees.
“Looking back on it now, I can’t believe a global corporation’s answer to slowing sales was to close down several top-performing stores for months just to remodel them,” she writes.
The renovated Gap she worked for was transformed into an extravagant shopping experience that included customer and employee perks and a much larger than normal store size.
In her post, Davies writes:
“We had a couch in a sunroom, complete with a full-size refrigerator, a kitchenette, an employee computer with free internet, and a television with cable. Plus, a multi-million dollar store could afford to have a ton of people working multiple shifts throughout the day, so lunchtime was often a potluck gathering of friends or a group TV-watching party. It was kind of unheard of for a job at the mall.”
As the recession arrived in 2008, the novated store that was once full of customers was transformed into a near ghost town. She explains that employee hours were cut, which only added to the difficulties of managing a gigantic Gap store. Customers were also left traveling around a store with very low supply, while shoplifters found it easier than ever to steal from the company.
David says GAP executives attempted to draw in customers with daily promotions, which only led to shopper confusion, which put more pressure on sales associates to explain the company’s current sales.
Not only was the GAP failing to draw in customers, the company also couldn’t figure out how to capitalize on popular products. “We couldn’t keep colored denim or skinny jeans on the shelves, yet we’d have to wait weeks for replenishment,” she said. “By the that time the jeans had arrived, our customers had were most likely headed to Forever 21 or H&M for their denim basics (as many of us Gap employees were also doing).”
Mismanagement at every level? Apparently GAP executives are almost 100% to blame for their company’s failures.