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Gap axes European design team

Gap has axed its London-based design team in a dramatic U-turn on its European strategy.

Gap is understood to have made its European design team redundant last week just two and a half years after it was created to help give the retailer more relevant product for its UK stores. The design team's first European collection hit stores last August. Gap is also understood to have made cut backs at its European marketing team.

Last week Gap said that its July sales had sunk back 11% on a like for like basis, while comparable sales fell back 9% at its international division, which includes its UK stores.

Gap said it had experienced increased demand for its US ranges which is understood to have contributed to the changes. Gap also recently hired Patrick Robinson as its new head of design. Robinson is a former designer for Paco Rabanne and Giorgio Armani.

A spokeswoman for Gap in the UK told The Sunday Telegraph: "It is a very difficult economic climate. The recent north American ranges have been more fashion-forward and that's something that European customers respond well to."

Readers' comments (3)

  • This is all a bit odd. Gap's sales are sliding and this was the whole international strategy built around more European specific design teams though it can't have worked that well as sales are still bad. Am still not convinced that a straight US range will fix things here though. Love the Liberty collaboration this season though.

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  • Was it just me or were the sizes all over the place after they brought in the Europeans? For years I was size small in Gap tops and a US 6 in everything else and I didn't have to try anything on. Now I find I'm a medium in most, but not all, things (and no I haven't put on any weight!) and I have to try stuff on just to be sure it fits. When I'm in a rush or don't want to queue for a fitting room I don't buy at all, but before I would have bought something and felt confident it would be OK when I got it home. Am just wondering whether this is part of the problem.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Was it just me or were the sizes all over the place after they brought in the Europeans? For years I was size small in Gap tops and a US 6 in everything else and I didn't have to try anything on. Now I find I'm a medium in most, but not all, things (and no I haven't put on any weight!) and I have to try stuff on just to be sure it fits. When I'm in a rush or don't want to queue for a fitting room I don't buy at all, but before I would have bought something and felt confident it would be OK when I got it home. Am just wondering whether this is part of the problem.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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