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."