August 14, 2009

Gap revamps its denim look

U.S. clothing retailer Gap Inc. has revamped its denim line up to capture more market share in the premium blue jean business, the company said.

Denim is our birthright. I think we have ceded some of our business to others over the years as the market has changed and as people have looked to status brands, Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, told the Chicago Tribune Friday.

The Gap's denim offerings had become an old story, resting on its laurels said Patrick Robinson, who was hired to revitalize the line.

The problem was the jeans hadn't been moved forward with the brand, he said.

This week the Gap launched new jean looks, including Always Skinny and Sexy Boot, to compete with competitors with high-priced jeans that have done well through the recession.

Marketing expert Eli Portnoy said the line up was a crap shoot for the Gap, as it is no longer out in front in denim, where competition has increased since the store started in 1969.

Denim alone is not going to be what saves Gap Inc., he said, but the store is relying on tradition in one aspect: The Gap's new jeans line up costs the same as the old one: less than $60 a pair.