LOS ANGELES — In a Thursday meeting with investors, Gap Inc. executives unveiled a shift in marketing strategies for its portfolio of brands, while affirming its earnings outlook for the remainder of the year.
The Gap, which has long featured holiday television ads, often featuring celebrity spokesmodels like Sarah Jessica Parker, has axed its TV campaign for the upcoming season. Instead, Gap North America president Marka Hanson said the brand will shift to “a mix of traditional and non-traditional” marketing strategies, including a soon-to-be-released campaign aimed at voters in this election cycle. Hanson said the Gap brand’s major initiative next year will be to drive store traffic.
Gap’s strategy shift comes a few weeks after Old Navy switched advertising agencies for its campaign, on which it spent an estimated $207 million for last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The long-struggling purveyor of basic apparel dropped Chandelier Creative for Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which counts Burger King, Volkswagen and Bell Sports among its clients. The agency’s first ads for Old Navy will debut in March and will target young, budget-conscious female consumers, executives said.
Also during the meeting, executives reaffirmed Gap’s earnings guidance for the fiscal year, at $1.30 to $1.35. “Our focus on disciplined inventory and cost management has enabled us to achieve a 65 percent growth in earnings per share in the first half of 2008,” Gap Inc. CFO Sabrina Simmons said. “We’re reaffirming our financial guidance for the year as we closely monitor the extreme market volatility.”
Gap chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy hinted at additional international expansion and perhaps future strategic acquisitions, following the company’s $150 million purchase of women’s active wear label Athleta in September. “With Gap Inc.’s strong balance sheet, we’re in a solid position to succeed in the long term and we have the flexibility to respond as necessary to the current economic environment,” Murphy said. “We remain focused on improving results at our core brands, while pursuing strategic growth opportunities online and internationally.”
At Banana Republic, president Jack Calhoun outlined a marketing strategy targeted at the affluent, professional demographic. Banana Republic recently opened its first store in the U.K.
Gap Inc. Direct, the company’s online retail business, is expected to reach $1 billion in sales by year’s end. Last year, Gap Inc’s online retail portfolio generated $903 million in sales, a 66 percent increase over 2005 sales of $595 million.
Gap will report its third-quarter earnings on Nov. 20.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye