Can Patrick Robinson Save Gap? Is it His Responsibility?

Gap may have enjoyed an elevated fashion profile since Patrick Robinson came on board in 2007, but financially, it's just as disastrous as ever. Sal
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Gap may have enjoyed an elevated fashion profile since Patrick Robinson came on board in 2007, but financially, it's just as disastrous as ever. Sal
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Gap may have enjoyed an elevated fashion profile since Patrick Robinson came on board in 2007, but financially, it's just as disastrous as ever.

Sales are down 14% since Robinson took over as vice president of global design and Gap's CEO puts it bluntly in the Wall Street Journal, "We have not been happy with the performance since late 2007."

But how much of its failure can be blamed on Robinson?

Whether you like his clothes or not, and we don't particularly love them, they're hardly controversial. In fact, though he's embraced on trend colors and designers like Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy, the clothes are classic (boring) Gap.

The bigger problem may be in the way Gap's marketed, the way the products are merchandised on the sales floor, and the fact that everything is marked down within weeks of hitting the sales floor. It's the one store from which most people we know refuse to pay full price because no matter what the product is--jeans, leather jacket, sandals--it'll be at least 30% off within a few weeks.

Gap also finds itself without a niche these days. Like WSJ points out, Old Navy's gone back to its suburban mom roots while Banana Republic's perfected their urban professional target, but who is Gap for? The woman who shops at J.Crew?