Gap Inc. is shutting down its only wedding line, Weddington Way.The brand, offered online and through Banana Republic stores, said it will only be fulfilling orders through June 11 and shutting down entirely after that, something it characterized as a "transition."Weddington Way noted in a statement online that Gap is "exiting" the business and that its 13 shops inside Banana Republic stores in major cities throughout the country will be closing "over the next few months."The brand focuses on bridesmaid dresses and wedding accessories and will be honoring orders made before June 11, as well as honoring returns. Weddington Way claims to have sold more than 500,000 dresses since it started in 2011.It was founded in San Francisco by Ilana Stern as a virtual offering for bridal parties to select looks for weddings. She stayed on as chief executive officer when Gap in December 2016 acquired the company on undisclosed terms that it said would not have a "material impact" on its financials.A Gap spokeswoman referred to Weddington Way as a "start-up" and said the company "is a small acquisition we made to explore new types of community-based e-commerce."
"While the business is performing well, we determined that Weddington Way would not scale in an impactful way for Gap Inc.," she added.
Gap will also be working to "redeploy any impacted employees to positions within its other brands, where possible," the spokeswoman said.When it revealed the acquisition, Gap positioned the company as one focused on Millennials with a "new way to shop for weddings.""With its technology-first approach, Weddington Way is a breath of fresh air in the wedding planning process," Gap said at the time.The midlevel wedding market in general may be experiencing something of a downturn. J. Crew closed its own bridal offering in 2016 after about six years in operation and Verizon recently decided to shut down the seemingly popular wedding-centric lifestyle web site Style Me Pretty.But the decisions by Gap and J. Crew came during a time of financial and turbulence for both brands. J. Crew is just beginning to show signs of a turnaround under a new ceo after years of declining sales and debt struggles. Gap has similarly struggled with flat and declining sales at its flagship label and Banana Republic, but increasing sales at Old Navy have helped make up the difference. Both brands have been closing stores over the last several months and attempting to focus more on their digital business.Fore More, See:
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