Old Navy, the company’s biggest brand, brought in $7.5 billion in revenue last year globally, while Athleta, which caters to women, is the company’s highest-margin business. Athleta’s first-quarter sales surged 56 percent from the same period in 2019.
Ms. Syngal was appointed chief executive of Gap in March 2020 just as the pandemic hit and has been trying to chart the retailer’s path forward. Before she became the top executive, Gap was planning to spin off Old Navy into a separate company. Now, it’s focusing on expanding its four $1 billion-plus brands and shedding distractions. It recently agreed to sell its Janie and Jack and Intermix chains.
Even as Gap and Banana Republic shrink their physical footprints, the brands plan to have more than 800 combined locations in North America. Both have been working toward revivals, with Gap planning a highly anticipated collaboration with Kanye West for a new clothing line called Yeezy Gap. Executives have said that would be available in the first half of 2021, but Ms. Syngal declined to confirm the timing: “We’re going to let Yeezy reveal the exact date.”
“We are pleased with the creative process that we’re seeing with Yeezy, and as we said, creativity really takes time,” she said. “I’m staying very, very close to it, and think that the planning that we’re doing is really about this multiyear potential — it’s not a one drop and done. We’re planning for multiyear growth.”
Ms. Syngal said that the Gap brand was “healthy and growing and cool,” and that Banana Republic was also seeing a recovery after taking a hit last year as customers worked from home and sales at urban locations fell.
“Banana certainly had challenges unique to Covid, between occasion wear and work wear,” she said. “Now that we’re getting past that in North America, we’re really pleased with the customer response.”
Broadly, Ms. Syngal said, there is a “peacocking effect” among shoppers, who are seeking bold and colorful clothing.