The parent company of Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta said it aimed to be “responsibly aggressive” as it returned to business.
Gap Inc., the mall stalwart that owns its namesake brand, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta, said it plans to reopen up to 800 stores in North America by the end of the month as retailers clamor to return to business after temporarily shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our goal is to be responsibly aggressive,” Sonia Syngal, chief executive of Gap, said in an interview on Tuesday. “Every retailer will have its own opening strategy, but suffice it to say we are looking to open where we’re legally allowed to open as soon as we can.”
The plan follows similar strategies announced in recent weeks by Macy’s, the owner of Bloomingdales and Bluemercury, and Simon Property Group, the biggest mall operator in the United States.
Retailers that sell nonessential goods, especially clothing, have been eager to reopen as their sales have plummeted, promising new safety protocols for the pandemic era, including plexiglass partitions, hand sanitizer stations and face masks for their employees.
Foot traffic to stores had been down even before the virus outbreak, and it remains to be seen how quickly shoppers will return to the newly refashioned environments while the country continues to grapple with a highly contagious virus.