The Gap Is Losing Its Foothold In SoHo

Back in the early 2000’s, the Gap had a foothold in SoHo:

1.  Gap at Spring and Broadway (now Aritzia)

2.  Banana Republic up the street

3.  Old Navy down the street

4.  1969 Denim next to Old Navy

Since 2008 its been a downward slope for the empire…around 2008, the Gap closed and continued to operate out of the small “1969 Denim” branded store down the street.

January 2015 Old Navy closed when Inditex purchased the retail space.

And this past week, the Gap announced they would be closing Piperlime, both online and their only physical store in SoHo.

Image from Racked

Image from Racked

While planning the fitness expo, I learned there was no Athleta (the Gap branded athletic retailer) down in SoHo.  After a few discussions with retail experts, some predict the Piperlime space will be transformed into an Athleta.

In 2013, when the Gap purchased Intermix, (one location on Prince street), it seemed counter-intuitive since it seemed to directly compete with Piperlime.  But Intermix was a well-established brick and mortar store versus the new Piperlime, which originated as an online-only store.

With retail rents at their all-time high, maybe the Gap has decided that SoHo doesn’t fit into their business model and will sub-lease the Piperlime space.  Is the Gap losing its foothold, or will they start claiming the SoHo territory again?