Gap is putting omnichannel at the forefront of its strategy for the year ahead.
The US fashion retailer, which trades in the UK online through gap.co.uk, bananarepublic.gap.co.uk, and about 150 Gap stores, currently offers omnichannel services in its US heartland that include reserve in store, find in store and ship from store.
In a recent presentation to analysts it said it would expand the reserve in store service to all Gap stores in the US by the end of its second quarter, enabling shoppers to reserve items at more than 1,000 Gap and Banana Republic stores both through online and mobile. It will also be testing a new order in store capability, which will give customers instant access to the full online range from the shop.
The update on Gap’s strategy comes soon after a recent LCP Consulting study said US traders led those from the UK in the move towards seamless omnichannel retailing.
But the company is also looking to overseas expansion, where it sees China as the market with the largest growth potential. There, it predicts, sales will reach $1bn in three years, both through its Gap and its Old Navy brand.
“We have the world’s best collection of American brands coupled with a strong economic model and runway for global growth,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc.
“As the retail landscape evolves, we continue to deliver on our omni-channel roadmap and focus on owning the shopping experience of the future.”
That future shopping experience is set to include wider use of personalisation, channel-crossing loyalty programmes, and mobile technology. The company is also emphasising a seamless inventory model, which enables a single view of stock wherever it is in the store and warehouse estate, as well as a more responsive supply chain.
“In the next five years, we plan to leverage our scale to drive our strategic initiatives – including global growth plans, omni-channel strategies, a seamless inventory model and fully responsive supply chain,” said Murphy. “We expect these initiatives to contribute meaningfully to our revenue growth and operating profit.”
Last year’s Omnichannel Award winner was Aurora Fashions as a result of impressive strides from their Oasis/Warehouse divisions. However will a new focus on their omni-channel road map make Gap a contender for the award this year? Let us know what you think by submitting your nominations for the Internet Retailing Awards before 30 April and grab your ticket to the most exciting ecommerce event in the calendar.