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Gap Hires 'Innovative' Abercrombie & Fitch Veteran as Its New CMO

Iconic brand has struggled to find its way

Last summer, the chain closed 175 of its North American stores because of lackluster sales. Getty Images

Can seasoned Abercrombie & Fitch marketer Craig Brommers make the Gap more fashionable with today's consumers?

Following a sales slide during the holiday season, the retailer has named Brommers senior vice president of global marketing for its namesake brand. He succeeds Seth Farbman, who departed a year ago, and went on to helm marketing at digital music service Spotify.

Brommers joins from A&F, where he served for more than two years as senior vice president of marketing. Earlier, he held similar positions at Calvin Klein and Speedo. During those tenures, Brommers gained a reputation for adopting innovative tactics while staying true to the DNA of the respective brands.

"His global experience also means he understands the balance between establishing global consistency while ensuring local relevance," the Gap said in a statement provided to Adweek. Brommers' penchant for "pushing the boundaries on social, digital and creative marketing to ensure brands stay relevant for new customers" makes him a good fit, the company said.

The brand has been viewed as something of an also-ran for at least the past decade, struggling to catch up with evolving trends in online shopping, and lagging behind more nimble competitors like H&M and Forever 21. Last summer, the chain closed 175 of its North American stores—roughly 25 percent of its locations—due to lackluster sales.

Gap's overall net sales for the five-week period ending Jan. 2 slid 4 percent from the same period the year before. Meanwhile, same-store sales at the flagship dipped 2 percent during December.

For the first nine months of 2015, Gap spent slightly less than $10 million on U.S. ads supporting its flagship brand, a big dip from its $30 million outlay during the same period a year earlier, per Kantar Media. Though Gap maintains no agency of record relationships, its most visible creative of late has been crafted by independent shop Wieden + Kennedy.

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