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I am working on a project to present to Gap Inc. on Tuesday and would appreciate any feedback, suggestions or perspective that any of you might have.

Basically the project is to create a new brand that will help Gap to remain the top specialty retailer.

I am proposing what I consider a fairly basic an incremental step - Banana Republic for kids, or Young Republic.

The concept is essentially to apply many of the same design and style elements of BR and shrink them down for 8-14 year olds. While this demographic might confuse BR's focus on the "thirty somethings, city style young professionals", I think it makes sense as a next step for Gap.

Some reasons why it might be successful:

-This age cohort is largely shopped for by parents/relatives. Not only does it create new product lines to a previously untapped demographic, it brings in the older shoppers (40s-50s)that might appreciate the BR style even though they wern't originally targeted.

-Gap Kids gives Gap Inc. a firm understanding of the apparel industry for kids.

-This ideally would grow the "pie" without shrinking sales for other Gap Inc. products. i.e. This should not cause a lot of canabilization of sales.


So, if anyone has any perspective or opinion to share I would appreciate all the feedback I can get. If this is a terrible idea please tell me, or if it has potentially but needs to be reworked please tell me!

Many thanks!
 

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Might I suggest something to stay away from? The abercrombie, American Eagle, etc. wardrobes for youngsters...It is silly how they all are so interchangeable and appear to look the same. If you are going towards a Banana Jr. style, tap into the semi dress that would straddle between, say the abercrombie crowd and the BB for youngsters. Also, it would be nice if Gap, Inc. could recall that Banana had an edge for a number of years. Beyond the core merchandising that they had/have, they would occasionally throw in a great couple of patterns and cuts for men. They need to remember that so that they can move forward and NOT try to be abercrombie....Alright, I'm prattling, and a gentleman needs to know when to stop.
Best of luck!
-jbbb
 

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I'm sorry, but I would first think that if you have this project due by Tuesday, it would be done, sealed and ready to deliver. I also would believe that if any corporate members of Gap Inc, or whatever the mother company happens to be, would find out that you are discussing this in an open forum, it would be considered highly unprofessional.

Their corporate offices may consider this type of reaching out to your firm "confidential" and not meant for general public knowledge. Therefore, I question your decision to discuss this openly, without prior consent.

I apologize if I seem to be a little "tight", but being in medicine I am overly sensitive to privacy and confidentiality, and do believe that this also flows into the business world, even if it isn't always "written".

Having stated my views, it's also my opinion that a "Junior Republic" type of concept would not be very profitable. Having raised two teenagers, and having a wife that's a high school teacher, I do believe I have my finger on the pulse of what the 8-14 year old age group would wear. And I don't believe they are interested in wearing "junior" Banana Republic type clothing on a regular basis. They may wear this clothing for special events, but that's not going to keep the money flowing in a store. Kids don't want dress casual.

Go to any middle school, high school or college and the overwhelming majority of students will be wearing a pair of washed out/relaxed jeans or cargo/khaki shorts with a pair of flip flops, sneakers, etc.

And that dress style crosses all socio-economic classes. There are very, very few kids walking around in chinos/khakis, looking preppy/trad, and even fewer looking casual. These kids go for comfort and that's why Gap, Abercrombie, and even Old Navy have a strong following. Kids want comfort.
 

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I certainly agree they are not trying to be abercrombie. In fact, Gap doesn't seem to know what it wants to be from season to season. We see them going from the old tried and true of khakis and jeans, long sleeve white shirts and sweaters in base colors (black, navy blue, etc.) to some rather off kilter choices that seem to try and be more than what they are or were (the Gap, that is). Having said that, my comments were geared more towards the young line that was posed in the original message of this thread. There seems to be a trend in 'mall' chain stores that we dress our youth as if they were all of the same ilk (i.e., abercrombie, etc.), hot topic or urban wear, with no sense of any other style. I get it. When one is young, one wants to rebel, not dress as if they are off to a summer wedding. My response was to remember that there is a happy medium between these aformentioned stores and what BB, etc. offers the tween and teen set. Perhaps I am alone in this observation, and it wouldn't be the first time that I was. Having said that, maybe Gap, Inc. could start a trend towards dressing a bit better when it comes to this age set, which was how I understood the original posting.
Just my opinion.
Warmest regards,
-jbbb
 

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You have three days to rebrand The Gap which is, what, America's largest chain of clothing shops? A university paper you can begin three days before you hand it in. A reworking of the marketing strategy of a multi-billion turnover company? Not so much.
 

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...I also would believe that if any corporate members of Gap Inc, or whatever the mother company happens to be, would find out that you are discussing this in an open forum, it would be considered highly unprofessional.

Their corporate offices may consider this type of reaching out to your firm "confidential" and not meant for general public knowledge. Therefore, I question your decision to discuss this openly, without prior consent...
Based on my experience as a BSA, yes, very much so...
 

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I have a feeling it's for a class, not for real. I know it wasn't specified, but it has that vibe.
I get that feeling because Gap recently gave up on their Forth & Towne concept, after signing leases and ordering merchandise, so I can't imagine they have the capital to set up a whole new brand. Although they do have the floor space committed...

Shelburne is a short commute to Champlain College and UVM.
 

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How about a fusion of Old Navy and Banana Republic. Call it Old Republic(an) and just shrink John McCain's wardrbobe down to fit 8-14 year olds.
The Chicago-based insurance company would probably sue...

How about a store like what Banana Republic was twenty years ago (back when Abercrombie and Fitch sold beautiful split-yoke sportshirts at 2 for $45 every other weekend). You could call it Tommy Bahama. :p
 

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I think you should make your pitch wearing a large khaki diaper. Just kidding. Best of luck with your idea. I will offer no advice, since I'm incompetent at business and would doom you. Don't give up though; nothing ventured nothing gained.

BT
 
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