Village Gap to Close in Late January
The Village shopping district in the City of Grosse Pointe will be losing another business in late January after Gap Inc. decides it is not "the best representation" of the brand.
The Village shopping-business district will have one less store in late January when Gap is set to close its doors for the final time, according to a corporate spokeswoman who spoke with Patch Thursday.
It is the only store in Michigan selected for closure but is part of a "natural pruning process" the company has been employing since 2007, Kimberly Terry, a Gap Inc. senior public relations manager.
The Grosse Pointe location at 17836 Kercheval Ave. has been there since 1987, Terry said, explaining that there are other stores throughout the country that will also be closing. She declined to say how many.
According to the company's press releases on their corporate site, Gap Inc. is opening stores in other countries, most recently a Banana Republic in France. According to an Oct. 29, 2011 Investor Relations Real Esate recap, there are 22 Gap stores in Michigan and 991 across the country.
Additionally, a store opening/closing list for investors shows the company planned to open about 25 stores and close about 85 throughout 2011 in its North America division, according to figures compiled Oct. 29, 2011.
Gap's upcoming closure marks yet another in the Village in the last year. Borders closed in the Village during the Ann Arbor company's reorganization efforts to avoid complete bankruptcy. Then Cavanaugh's, a specialized invitation shop, announced its closure the day Borders was closing the doors for the final time.
Months later, Burger Pointe, a locally owned and operated restaurant featuring burgers, shakes and fries, shut its doors. The awning sign emblazoned with Burger Pointe remains a reminder within the Village.
Meanwhile, Green Zone Pizza is the newest and only recent addition to the Village.
Terry said the choice to close the Grosse Pointe Gap is the result of many factors the company considers when assessing whether a store should remain open. Officials evaluate sales, traffic, the last date the store was remodeled and more, she said.
The decision is really based on the individual store, Terry said. In her initial response to Grosse Pointe Patch via email, she said: "We felt this store wasn’t the best representation of our brand moving forward so we made the decision to close it."
Later during a telephone interview, Terry said the "customer experience factor was not the best" at the Grosse Pointe location.
Although she could not confirm if the closure coincides with the lease term of the building, generally the company does make store closures at the end of a lease. Patch is attempting to reach the property owner.
The store's last day to be open for business is Jan. 23. Employees will remain in the store for a short time after to finishing removing product and Gap owned items, she said.
Product will be either marked down and/or shipped to other Gap stores in the area, Terry said.
The company is making its best efforts to relocate those employees wishing to stay with them, Terry said. The employees could be transferred to any of the Gap Inc. stores, including Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy or even the outlets of these stores.
"This was a difficult decision," Terry said. "When we close the store, we want to continue to serve the market."
The company will make efforts to let customers who frequent the Grosse Pointe location know of its closure as well as the nearest Gap stores, she said.
Patch is awaiting a return call from Village Association President Mike Kramer about the closure.