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Gap Won't Confirm Closures in Manhattan

April 10, 2001|From Reuters

NEW YORK — Gap Inc. said Monday that although it could not confirm a recent report that it plans to close some of its Manhattan stores, the No. 1 U.S. apparel chain said closing smaller stores and reopening others in nearby locations is a common practice for the retailer.

The San Francisco-based retailer, which as of March 3 operated more than 3,700 stores worldwide, said the report by local business magazine Crain's New York Business was "blown out of proportion" and said the story also buried Gap's plans to grow its New York store base by 18% this year.

"The whole premise of this seems to be that the economy is bad and we're running for cover," said Jack Dougherty, a spokesman for Gap Inc., which operates Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic apparel stores. "The reality is we open and close stores every day."

According to the Crain's report, eight of Gap's 35 Manhattan stores are scheduled for closure this year, with the first store set to shut its doors by the end of the week.

Dougherty said the company has plans to close some New York stores this year, but that the number is fewer than eight.

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