Gap closing Piperlime (no big deal)
You can tell by reading the headline in the Gap Inc. press release that the company is looking to downplay any negativity associated with its decision to close Piperlime, its online answer to Zappos. Referring to Piperlime as its "smallest brand," Gap Inc. is looking to sell analysts on the wisdom of the decision to focus on managing its namesake brand along with its Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix and Old Navy businesses.
Gap plans to close the Piperlime site along with the one store that bears its banner by the end of February. The division represented less than one percent of Gap Inc.’s $16 billion in annual sales.
As a Wall Street Journal article pointed out, this is not the first time that Gap Inc. has made the decision to shutter a business. Back in 2007, it closed Forth & Towne, a concept developed for older women.
"We are incredibly grateful to our fashion-focused, loyal customers, and proud of our dedicated employees who have been working hard to evolve the [Piperlime] brand and test out new ideas," said incoming CEO Art Peck in a statement. "We plan to keep on pushing new ideas and look forward to seeing how we can apply what we’ve learned to the rest of the company as we continue to bring great products and shopping experiences to our customers."
- Gap Inc. to Close Smallest Brand, Piperlime – Gap Inc.
- Gap Abandons Its Online Brand Piperlime – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Gap drops Piperlime to focus on fixing its major brands – Fortune
Do you approve of Gap Inc.’s decision to shutter its Piperlime business? What lessons do you think Gap Inc. learned from its Piperlime experience and how will that inform its other businesses going forward?