GAP - Bridging the Gaps in its Offerings*



Case Code : CLCB018
Publication date : 2005
Subject : Consumer Behavior
Industry : -
Length : 04 Pages
Price : Rs. 100

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Key words:

GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Brand strategy, Morris & Fellows, Strategic Mindshare, George Clooney, Ellen von Unwerth, Vogue and Elle


* This caselet is intended for use only in class discussions.
** More comprehensive case studies are priced at Rs.200 to Rs.700 (US $5 to US $16) per copy.


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The caselet, GAP: Bridging the Gaps in its Offerings, gives an overview of the challenges faced by GAP Inc. to ensure a distinction among its three brand lines -- GAP, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. The company found that the existence of these three lines resulted in market cannibalization. The company soon positioned Banana Republic as a trendier brand and improved merchandising at GAP.


The need to maintain a distinction in positioning among various brands of a company
How to manage the threat of cannibalization among various products offered by the same company
The relationship between brand awareness and sales


Gap Inc., headquartered at San Francisco Bay Area, is a specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and kids under the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy brand names.

In 2004, the company had a net earning of US$ 1.2 billion and sales of US$ 16.3 billion. Gap, which set out as a mom and pop jeans shop in San Francisco in 1969, grew over the years to become one of the leading specialty retailers in US...

Questions for Discussion:

1. "In the late 1990s, the company realized that the three brands had started eating into each other's market." What resulted in the downturn of the company in the late 1990s and the early 2000s?
2. A Gap Inc. spokesperson acknowledged that it had "lost focus in its brands." What are the ways in which the three brands can increase their sales?