GPS - The Gap, Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed price. Currency in USD
17.36
+0.48 (+2.84%)
At close: 4:05PM EDT

17.36 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:53PM EDT

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Previous close16.88
Open17.08
Bid17.33 x 4000
Ask17.33 x 4000
Day's range17.01 - 17.48
52-week range15.11 - 31.39
Volume6,271,910
Avg. volume7,545,537
Market cap6.267B
Beta (3Y monthly)0.76
PE ratio (TTM)7.07
EPS (TTM)2.45
Earnings date18 Nov 2019 - 22 Nov 2019
Forward dividend & yield0.97 (5.75%)
Ex-dividend date2019-10-08
1y target est19.26
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ascena Retail Group Inc.’s gloomy quarterly results are a reminder not just of why the giant chain feels such enormous pressure to change. They also show the challenges retailers face when they try to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The retailer, the corporate parent of chains such as Lane Bryant and Ann Taylor, said Thursday its gross margin slipped to 54.3% from 58.1% a year earlier as it increased discounts and promotions to clear inventory. Comparable sales sank 2% from a year earlier for its chains excluding Dressbarn, which is in the process of shuttering all of its 616 stores.The weakness emphasizes why the company has already been undergoing a dramatic overhaul: In addition to winding down Dressbarn by the end of the year, it has sold Maurices, a 943-store chain. And it could rip up its empire even further, as Bloomberg News has reported that it is considering a divestiture of plus-size chains Catherines and Lane Bryant.Slicing up a specialty retailer is certainly in vogue right now: Gap Inc. is soon to split in two, and J. Crew is to spin off its Madewell chain. But Ascena is different because it’s an apparel conglomerate that was bolted together only four years ago.When Ascena acquired Ann Inc., the company that included Ann Taylor and Loft, executives promised many benefits. Ascena had been growing via acquisition for about a decade by then, and the idea was that it knew how take advantage of efficiencies (centralizing back-office functions, for example, or stuffing several brands into one e-commerce distribution center).But whatever Ascena has done on that front, it is hard to argue that it is now a healthier retailer. The company has had five consecutive years of losses as it has struggled to offer the right clothing selection, relied heavily on discounting and maintained stores in less-than-ideal locations.Ascena, after having paid about $2 billion for Ann, now has a market capitalization of about $61 million. There are Manhattan penthouses worth as much this chain of more than 3,400 stores. It had been clear for some time that the Ann acquisition was not shaping up to be a boon for Ascena. My colleague Tara Lachapelle noted as far back as 2017 – when the deal forced the company to take a significant charge – that the Ann deal was adding to the company’s problems.Now, if Ascena ends up unloading Catherines and Lane Bryant, what will remain is just the old Ann Inc. plus children’s retailer Justice. The deal will have proved to be a nearly pointless exercise. More important, its failure would call into question the company’s strategy over a much longer period.Stacey Widlitz, president of SW Retail Advisors, points out that Ascena’s diversification plan ultimately left it fighting three distinct battles on what are arguably the toughest fronts in retail: The value apparel category, where Target Corp. and Old Navy dominate; the teen category, where online shopping has been especially disruptive; and mid-priced apparel, where almost no retailers are prospering right now.Maybe it’s for the best, then, that longtime CEO David Jaffe and CFO Robb Giammatteo have each departed those roles in recent months.Can new leadership revitalize the company? It’s doubtful. Ann Taylor and Loft have performed relatively well lately, and they are positioned to pick up market share that department stores are shedding. But those chains are putting too much effort toward growing their outlet businesses online, which will cheapen the brands over the long term and potentially hurt margins.Whatever happens with those chains now, one thing is abundantly clear: Ascena’s experiment has not worked out as planned.  To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at shalzack@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Forever 21 Inc. has learned the hard way that the allegiance of teen shoppers is anything but everlasting.The fast-fashion retailer filed for bankruptcy late Sunday, saying it has obtained $350 million in financing to help it stay afloat. The company said it plans to close most of its Asian and European stores in order to focus on its core business in North America.The bankruptcy is, of course, another signal of the punishing pressures of the broader “retail apocalypse,” in which the rise of e-commerce is siphoning away shoppers from brick-and-mortar chains, forcing them to collectively shutter thousands of stores. But Forever 21’s troubles also are an emblem of a new and important dynamic shaping the U.S. apparel market: Fast fashion, once a formidable retail niche, is falling behind.In the first two decades of the 2000s, the trifecta of Forever 21, H&M and Inditex SA’s Zara had punishing impact on mid-priced mall heavyweights such as Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., stealing away the high school and college set by peddling trendier garments and refreshing their merchandise offerings at a much quicker pace. The Great Recession helped support their rise, as it meant shoppers were especially focused on low prices.Now, though, there are clear signs that some shoppers are souring on this model. Forever 21 and others of its ilk have long been go-tos for what is essentially disposable clothing – a trend you’re sure will be fleeting, an outfit you don’t want to be seen in more than once on Instagram, etc. But just as sustainability concerns upended the food and beauty industries years ago, they are starting to factor more into clothing purchases. And it could contribute to a backlash to what was essentially a years-long binge on cheap polyester.To the extent that many shoppers are still embracing fast fashion, there are now many more options for them to scratch their itch for of-the-moment clothing than when Forever 21 was gathering steam. Chains such as Gap, Old Navy and Urban Outfitters Inc. have sped up their supply chains to be more reactive to new trends. Plus, many chains including Ann Taylor, Express and Bloomingdale’s are now joining upstart Rent The Runway in the clothing rental business.Digital-centric players such as Boohoo, Fashion Nova and Asos have given them fresh options, and low-priced, U.K.-based brick-and-mortar chain Primark is starting to open U.S. stores. On top of that, digitally-enabled secondhand selling is gaining traction. The stock market debut of The RealReal Inc. and Foot Locker Inc.’s $100 million investment in sneaker re-seller Goat were signals of the strong expectations of growth for this model. Simply put, there are more options now for having a constantly-refreshing wardrobe that don’t necessarily depend on fast fashion. All of those changes are making it difficult for Forever 21 to stay relevant. In fact, the collective U.S. market share of the Big Three of fast fashion peaked in 2015, according to data from Euromonitor.Of course, Forever 21’s bankruptcy also is a result of other factors, including the pace at which it opened stores and its decision to have so many of them in enclosed malls. But the chain’s troubles signal a new era of opportunity for capturing the dollars of Generation Z and millennial shoppers. Its struggling neighbors at the mall should take note.–Andrea Felsted contributed the “Rental on the Rise” chart. To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at shalzack@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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