Gap Sees 5% Sales Dip, Plans to Expand Overseas

Meanwhile, the brand will be closing a number of its North American stores.
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Eliza Brooke
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Meanwhile, the brand will be closing a number of its North American stores.
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Despite poaching Rebecca Bay from fashion-forward Cos to breathe new life into the brand, Gap saw sales dip 5 percent during the first quarter of 2014, the company reported Thursday. Net sales across Gap Inc.'s brands — Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperlime — rose just 1 percent, while earnings dropped 22 percent. 

To that end, Gap Inc. has scheduled 70 store closings, the majority of which will be North American Gap locations. Meanwhile, the company is hoping to pick up the pace in global markets, with a number of Gap Inc. brands making their debut in Asia in the first quarter. 

Old Navy launched a Chinese e-commerce site along with its first store in the country. It also opened its first franchise-operated store in the Philippines -- the first of five slated to open over the course of 2014. Gap, meanwhile, opened up shop in Taiwan and will have 30 new stores in China by the end of the year. 

In total, Gap Inc. aims to have 185 new company-operated stores up and running by the end of 2014. Much of that is oriented toward markets like China and Japan -- and it also plans to expand Athleta, which has been successfully riding activewear's wave of popularity. Athleta will be opening 35 stores in 2014, bringing it to a total of 100 locations.