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Gap store closes at Mall of America as retailer moves away from malls

Mall of America’s Gap store — one of the megamall’s original tenants — has closed, as Gap Inc. continues its nationwide push away from malls.

The store shuttered Tuesday, a Mall of America spokesperson confirmed Thursday. Other stores operated by Gap Inc. at Mall of America – Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta – remain open, at least for now.

San Fransisco-based apparel retailer Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced in 2020 that it would close approximately 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores across North America by the end of 2023. The Associated Press reported that 220 Gap stores – equivalent to one-third of its store base – and 130 Banana Republic stores were on the chopping block, and the cuts would result in 80% of the company’s remaining Gap stores being in off-mall locations.

“We’ve been overly reliant on low-productivity, high-rent stores,” Gap brand CEO Mark Breitbard said during a third-quarter 2020 investor meeting. “We’ve used the past six months to address the real estate issues and accelerate our shift to a true omni-model.”

These local Gap and Banana Republic stores have closed since the beginning of 2020:
But hundreds of Gap stores closed as a result of slowing sales well before the pandemic.
When Gap Inc. shared plans in 2011 to close more than 100 of its namesake stores across the U.S., there were 16 Gap stores across Minnesota. A handful of those stores closed over the succeeding years, including the Gap store at Maplewood Mall in 2012 and the massive Gap and GapKids store in downtown Minneapolis’ IDS Center in 2015, both after two decades.

There were nine Gap stores in the Twin Cities in late 2018, when former Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck said the company would consider closing hundreds of “underperforming stores” following a 7% year-over-year sales decline in the third quarter.

Now, there are six Gap stores in the Twin Cities, two of which are Gap Factory stores in outlet malls, according to the brand’s website. They’re located Albertville Premium Outlets, Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan, Southdale Center in Edina, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove, Ridgedale Center and Woodbury Lakes.

Gap Inc. didn’t respond to a request for comment, so it’s unclear whether any of the metro’s remaining Gap or Banana Republic stores will close as well.

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