These days, particularly, there are certainly bigger issues in the world, but I was still so perplexed about Gap’s Web site continuing to be down, more than three days after I first noticed it, that I finally called the Gap this afternoon to hear what people there had to say. (I’m also waxing nostalgic for Sarah Jessica Parker, obviously.) First, here’s the back story: on Monday, I saw the site was down for what is being described as “scheduled site improvements,” right as the chain was breaking a new campaign, and during the last minute scramble to get the kids new outfits for school. Afterward, I even checked out the Gap Inc. 10Q for the second quarter to see how much the Gap chain (as opposed to sister chains Banana Republic and Old Navy), does in online sales. For the twenty-six weeks ended July 30, 2005, it’s $95 million. While a small portion of the chain’s overall sales, it still contributes to the bottom line. That’s not a bad thing—ever—but particularly when Gap sales have been declining. Gap representative Kris Marubio told AdFreak the site closure is part of an overhaul that encompasses all Gap Inc. e-commerce sites and that this time was chosen to close Gap.com since online sales for back-to-school happen in late July. (More proof that many women are organizationally superior to me. ) Still, why not do what most sites do, I asked, which is to keep the old site up until the new one is ready? “That’s something for our technical group, our online division,” she said. At AdFreak we’re mere bloggers, not technologists dammit, so are there any AdFreak readers out there who can knowledgeably speculate as to why the old site can’t stay up until the new one is ready? It’s just not often these days you see e-commerce sites go completely down for days at a time. I kinda thought those days were over.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor