BANANA REPUBLIC NAMES GARY MUTO AS PRESIDENT

Byline: Kristin Young / with contributions from Holly Haber

LOS ANGELES — Gary Muto has been promoted to president of Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic division.
Separately, the company revealed plans for a mammoth three-brand store in Dallas.
The post has been vacant since the March 2000 departure of Jeanne Jackson, who left to become Walmart.com’s chief executive officer. Muto, 41, who has been the BR division’s executive vice president of merchandising, had shared presidential responsibility with Jerome Jessup and Amy Schoening, former heads of product design and marketing for the brand, respectively. Jessup now holds similar duties with the Gap division and Schoening with the corporate office.
As president, Muto will continue to oversee all aspects of the brand, including merchandising, field operations and marketing and to report to Millard (Mickey) Drexler, Gap’s president and ceo.
A Gap spokesman said the promotion “formalizes the role [Muto] was already playing as head of that brand.”
In other news, Gap will unveil a new format combining Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands under one roof in a three-level anchor opening next March at Dallas’s Galleria mall.
The plan for the 128,000-square-foot space is to house Banana Republic on the first floor and Old Navy on the third floor, with Gap, GapKids, BabyGap and GapBody on the second level. The space is more than triple the combined 40,000 square feet occupied by five existing stores for the three brands at the Galleria. In addition, the firm is considering placing a regional training center in the building.
With annual revenues of $13.6 billion, Gap operates 3,676 stores worldwide, 402 of those are Banana Republic units. Its stock closed at $23.26, down $1.16, in New York Stock Exchange trading Tuesday, as the NYSE dropped 3 percent, or 292.22 points, to 9485.71.

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