Gap Inc. will close Piperlime, the Web site launched in 2006 that attempted to deliver a young, contemporary and distinctive take on fashion and that also operates one store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
Officials said Friday that Piperlime would shut down by the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, with the 4,000-square-foot store at 121 Wooster Street closing by the end of February.
The decision to close the business will result in the loss of about 90 Piperlime headquarter employees. “We will make every effort to ensure that impacted employees are considered for any open positions within the larger Gap Inc. organization,” said a Gap Inc. spokeswoman. “We value our employees and will do our best to keep them as part of the Gap Inc. family.”
Art Peck, Gap Inc.’s incoming chief executive officer, has been making big changes in the company before his official February start date. In October, Gap disclosed that he would succeed Glenn Murphy, and in November, Peck orchestrated a management shake-up naming Jeff Kirwan global president for the Gap brand and Andi Owen global president for Banana Republic. Gap Inc. operates Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix as well as Gap, Banana Republic and Piperlime.
Gap officials on Friday indicated that Piperlime is the smallest brand in the company’s portfolio, generating under $100 million in annual sales, and representing less than 1 percent of Gap Inc.’s total $16 billion in revenues.
“We are incredibly grateful to our fashion-focused, loyal customers, and proud of our dedicated employees who have been working hard to evolve the brand and test out new ideas,” said Peck. “We plan to keep on pushing new ideas and look forward to seeing how we can apply what we’ve learned to the rest of the company as we continue to bring great products and shopping experiences to our customers.”
Costs associated with the closing of Piperlime are not material, the company said.
Some of Piperlime’s key brands recently were Nonoo, Elizabeth and James, Laveer, Athé by Vanessa Bruno, Cynthia Rowley, Drew, Elizabeth Cole, Zoe Karssen, LNA, Duffy, Karina Grimaldi, DWP and Kenneth Jay Lane.
Last summer, Piperlime overhauled its Web site by reengineering the merchandise mix, integrating social media into shopping, updating its marketing, and starting an in-house Piperlime Collection. Olivia Palermo was given a larger role on the site as a style authority, and other bloggers were added. The lime logo with script lettering was discarded in favor of a subtle green all in caps.