Gap Goes Forth & Towne
By George Anderson
Forth & Towne, Gap Inc.’s highly anticipated retail concept, is opening for business in the New York City suburb of West Nyack at the Palisades Center mall.
The 8,000-square-foot unit will sell apparel targeted to women 35 and up who have, USA Today reports, been “turned off by traditional department
The new store is the first of five planned for opening this year. Four more are scheduled to open for business in the Chicago area. Gap plans five
more Forth & Towne store openings next year and 20 in 2007.
The new concept will break stores out into distinct areas with specific groups of the 35+ female demographic targeted in each section.
Christine Chen, analyst at Pacific Growth Equities, described the sections to USA Today:
“The ‘Allegory’ section will offer tailored and conservative apparel suited for the office, in a direct shot at Talbots. Artsy dressers will find
knits and pants with prints in the ‘Vocabulary’ part of the store. The ‘Prize’ portion will contain clothes for the “feminine and flirtatious.” Lastly, it wouldn’t be a Gap store
without the turtlenecks and “casual American style” clothes in the ‘Gap Edition’ part of the store.”
Kurt Barnard, president of Barnard’s Retail Consulting Group, sees the Forth & Towne concept as a better late than never move by Gap Inc. “What
the Gap is doing is not only what it must be doing, but what it should have done a long time ago,” he said.
Moderator’s Comment: Is there a market need for a specialty store that caters to women 35+? Is there a large segment of women in this age group that
has been “turned off by traditional department stores” as is suggested by Gap’s development of the Forth & Towne concept? –
George Anderson – Moderator