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.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)