Keeping an Eye on and an open Mind to The Gap, Inc.

Español: Mapa mental de las directrices para u...

Español: Mapa mental de las directrices para un mapa mental. English: Mind map of the mind map guidelines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Keeping an eye on and an open mind to The Gap, Inc. will take on a whole new meaning as you continue reading this post.

The Gap, Inc. is made up of five brands and two reporting segments.  Gap brands include its namesake branded apparel known for its jeans and khakis, GapKids, and babyGap.  Old Navy and Banana Republic complete the list of brick and morter stores (although Athleta – specializing in women’s active apparel and footwear – is slowly opening retail stores in select areas of the U.S. as I write this post).  Collectively, these retail avenues form the “Stores” reportable segment of the company.  Stores are located all over the world, including the U.S. and Puerto Rico, Canada, Europe, Asia, and other regions.

Its second and final reporting segment is known as the “Direct” segment.  This includes all online brands, both domestic and international, and especially Piperlime – an online only brand which offers footwear for the entire family.

To demonstrate the weight of each of the brands and reporting segments, I have created a mind map using xmind of the FY2010 (ended 1/29/11) sales revenue by segment, brand, and region.  What is a mind map, you ask?  A mind map is a diagram that presents words, ideas, etc. visually in such a way to emphasize the relationship between the different concepts.

Following is the Embed Code for this mind map:

<iframe id=’xmindshare_embedviewer’ src=’’ width=’900px’ height=’300px’ frameborder=’0′ scrolling=’no’>

Including the above text in the HTML portion of a blog post will display the mind map within the post.  (See below).  I would highly recommend creating your own account at  The basic service is free and you can share maps amongst your colleagues and friends.

Do you understand my “eye”-catching heading now?  Oddly enough, this “mind” map displaying the revenue flow of The Gap, Inc. for FY10 looks like an eyeball.  Presenting the information in this manner clearly demonstrates how the Stores reporting segment compares in size to the Direct reporting segment.


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The gap The Gap is creating: SWOT Analysis

The 1969-1986 Logo

The 1969-1986 Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deutsch: Logo von GAP

Deutsch: Logo von GAP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Founded in 1969 by Doris and Don Fisher of San Fransisco, CA, Gap, Inc. went public in 1976.  The company’s popularity boosted in the 1990’s with the help of its trendy jeans and khakis.  I can still remember the first pair of Gap jeans I owned.  I wore them past their prime – until the holes in the back pockets became too large to hide with an over-sized shirt.

The Gap family grew in the twenty-plus years since it began being publicly traded.  Banana Republic was acquired in 1983 and features upscale apparel.  The kiddos began enjoying fashionable clothing in 1986 when the first GapKids store opened.  In 1989, the company went global and became the second-largest branded apparel in the world by 1992.  Having joined the Gap family in 1994, Old Navy was the solution to capturing the family, value- yet fashionably minded, market.

Fast forward to today.  Like most retailers, The Gap has felt the pressures and the presence of competitors in these tough economic times.  By knowing where the company stands in relation to its rivals, the Gap can better position itself to keep or improve its market share.  Hence, an analysis of its SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats is essential.  Strengths and weaknesses are derived from a company’s internal environment, whereas opportunities and threats are based on external factors.  Strengths enhance a firm’s competitiveness in its industry and weaknesses are deficiencies of the company or competitive liabilities.  Opportunities can open the door to help formulate company strategies and threats can close them.  Let’s take a look at The Gap, Inc. and see how it is creating a “gap” amongst the competition with its SWOT breakdown:

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