Gap Inc. said this month it plans to shed 216 workers in San Francisco in a move effective March 31.
The layoffs were reported to the California Employment Development Department earlier this month.
“As part of Gap Inc.’s continued commitment to better position the company for long-term growth, the company has been streamlining its operating model, which has resulted in a small number of job eliminations at the Gap Inc.’s headquarter locations in San Francisco,” a spokeswoman said. “We remain committed to treating employees with respect and support through this period of change, and we intend to make every effort to ensure that impacted employees are considered for any open positions within Gap Inc.”
The cuts come amid a broader pullback by a number of retailers this year that includes store closings among Macy’s, Sears and BCBG Max Azria. That’s in addition to bankruptcies by companies such as The Limited and Wet Seal.
The changing retail landscape was something addressed by Gap Inc. chief executive officer Art Peck in a call with analysts this month, calling out the shifting tides as an opportunity.
“To read the headlines today, you’ll see the words dead, dying [and] sick. We are none of those. We are healthy and strong and have a plan and clear direction,” Peck said during the earnings call. “But we can all pick our favorite company that’s no longer in business and when the lights go off and the windows get boarded over, that is market share that is made available to the rest of the industry. She’s not stopping shopping. She’s shopping someplace else.”
Gap said this month it expects fiscal year 2017 same-store sales to be flat to up slightly with earnings per share in the range of $1.95 to $2.05. The company said for the fiscal year it expects to open a total of 40 net new stores, focused mostly on the Athleta and Old Navy brands with closures of Gap stores expected.
The forecast followed results for Gap Inc. 2016 fiscal year ended Jan. 28, which saw net sales down about 2 percent from the year-ago period to $15.5 billion. Net income for the same 12-month period totaled $676 million, compared to $920 million a year earlier.
The company ended its 2016 fiscal year with 3,659 stores globally.