THE BLENDED BANANA: Banana Republic said 112 employees would be impacted as it moved its New York headquarters to its other headquarters, in San Francisco, where it will also open a new design center.
A spokeswoman for corporate parent Gap Inc. said the move, which was first revealed in November, is intended to improve the long-term performance of the business, which saw sales fall 2.5 percent in the third quarter, to $467 million.
“Having the full team on one campus together will help the brand be more nimble, collaborative and competitive,” she said.
The New York team was offered an opportunity to stay with the brand and a third of them opted to make the move. The spokeswoman said Gap is “committed to supporting the employees who chose not to move with opportunities at our other brands.”
Banana Republic will clear out of the company’s New York office at 55 Thomas Street by April 27 although the other Gap brands will stay at the location.
A recent Gap filing with the New York State Labor Department said 112 workers would be affected by the move. The filing also listed the functions that would be moving to San Francisco, including Banana Republic Factory Store Design, Banana Republic Factory Store product development, Banana Republic product/creative strategy and operations, Banana Republic product development and fabric research and development, Banana Republic tech design, Banana Republic design, human resources and communications.
Art Peck, Gap president and chief executive officer, told investors on a conference call just before the holiday season that Banana Republic was among the company’s “more mature brands” and that “the team is focused on the right priorities, but there’s a lot of heavy lifting to do to improve performance.”
Peck said of the headquarters move, “This consolidation with the rest of the brand will improve speed, it will improve quality, and it will save cost.”