FISHER NAMED PRESIDENT OF GAP; LYONS IS EXEC VP OF INT’L UNIT
NEW YORK — Gap Inc. said Thursday that Robert Fisher has become president of its Gap division, succeeding Rick Lyons who in January became executive vice president of the international division.
In his new role, Fisher, 42, who also is a director of the company, is responsible for the 1,300-store Gap, GapKids and BabyGap businesses. He will continue to serve as a corporate executive vice president and continue to report to Gap Inc. president and chief executive officer Millard Drexler. Fisher is the son of Donald Fisher, chairman and founder.
Fisher joined the company in 1980 as a store manager and rose to executive vice president of merchandising for Banana Republic, then an 11-store division of Gap Inc. in 1985. He became Banana Republic’s president in 1989, was elected to the board in 1990, and became executive vice president and chief financial officer in 1991. He became chief operating officer in 1995.
Gap is pumping up its expansion with a capital budget of $400 million to $450 million this year, up from $291 million in 1996, according to a 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The corporation plans to add at least 275 stores and expand 65 to 75 others, the filing noted. Expenditures include costs to upgrade administrative facilities, distribution centers and equipment. Remodelings are also planned. Last year, the corporation opened 203 stores and closed 30.
The retailer expects its square footage to increase about 18 percent before store closings. As of Feb. 1 this year, the retailer’s 1,854 stores covered 12.3 million square feet.
In the U.S. in 1997, the Gap division grew to 947 units from 902; GapKids, 491 from 437; Banana Republic, 229 from 210; and Old Navy, 199 from 131.
The filing noted that Gap’s operations in Germany and France are not yet profitable due to investments in infrastructure and personnel growth. The retailer operates eight stores in Germany and 18 in France.
Elsewhere, Gap and GapKids operate 101 units in Canada, 71 in the United Kingdom and 11 in Japan. Banana Republic has eight stores in Canada.
Advertising costs grew to $96 million in 1996 from $64 million in 1995. Gap said it “plans to continue its stronger investments in advertising and marketing in 1997.”
Gap’s proxy statement showed that Drexler earned $3.3 million last year, up from $2 million a year earlier. His salary rose to $1.78 million from $1.59 million, annual bonus expanded to $1.35 million from $314,000 and other compensation increased to $135,367 from $108,831.
Drexler in 1995 also received options for four million shares of stock exercisable at $19.54 each. Last year, Drexler received options for 120,000 shares at $33.06 each.
Donald Fisher earned $2.1 million, up from $1.8 million, and Robert Fisher earned $1.57 million, from $833,065. Robert Fisher also received $833,063 in restricted stock awards in 1995.
Donald Fisher holds 65.3 million shares, or a 23.9 percent stake, worth about $2 billion. Robert Fisher owns 10.8 million shares, a 3.9 percent stake worth $329 million, and Drexler owns five million shares, a 1.8 percent stake worth $154 million.
As reported, same-store sales at Gap Inc. declined 2 percent in the first two months of this year. The drop was due to a weak men’s wear business at the core Gap division, according to the 10-K. The men’s trend is expected to continue “especially in the first half of 1997, when prior-year comparisons are the most difficult.”