Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Gap Plans to Diversify beyond Apparel Lines

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Gap Plans to Diversify beyond Apparel Lines

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO _ Moving to diversify beyond its traditional apparel lines, Gap Inc. quietly has opened four shoe stores and has plans to open five more by the end of next year.

The first four stores in the new chain _ known as GapShoes _ opened within the past month. They are located in Chicago; Palo Alto, Calif.; Vernon Hills, N.Y.; and Paramus, N.J.

Although no formal announcement has been made, a timetable supplied by Gap indicates that there are plans to open three more GapShoes stores by yearend and two next year. New locations will be San Diego, Beverly Center in Los Angeles, the Dallas Galleria, Farmington, Conn., and near Bloomingdales in New York City.

In an interview earlier this year, Gap President Millard (Mickey) Drexler emphasized that the shoe stores will be experimental ventures. "We're testing the market in a small way. We'll see how it goes," he said.

Analysts expressed apprehension about the Gap's move into shoes, noting that retail sales remain sluggish. …

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