The Era of Gap's Mass Appeal Is Over—But Specialization Could Bring the Brand Back

With the pandemic offering a fresh start, the retailer seeks to reconnect with its roots and a new customer


Twenty-some-odd years ago, few brands loomed larger in American fashion than Gap. Its signature logo hoodies were omnipresent at high schools and on college campuses, and Gap’s marketing attracted big names, with stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Madonna fronting its campaigns. But perhaps nowhere was Gap’s influence more evident than at malls across America, where its stores populated shopping centers from coast to coast.

Cut to 2020: The American mall is a dying breed—a 2017 report from Credit Suisse predicted that between 20% and 25% of malls in the U.S.

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