Today Gap Inc. reported it is shutting down its Piperlime business, the retailer’s first attempt at launching a native e-commerce brand. “We plan to keep on pushing new ideas and look forward to seeing how we can apply what we’ve learned to the rest of the company,” incoming CEO Art Peck said via a company press release.
The women’s online retailer, which sold both private label and third-party designers like Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff, originally launched in 2006, and more recently experimented with a bricks-and-mortar store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Despite its loyal following, it never really transcended to a distinct-enough business proposition. The $16 billion company, which will shut down all Piperlime properties by end of fiscal Q1 2015, says the brand only represents less than 1% of the retailer’s overall revenue.
Piperlime’s shutdown is just one of the big changes Peck has made at the San Francisco-based retailer before he even takes over as CEO on February 1. In November, Peck, a nine-year Gap Inc. vet who most recently ran its Growth, Innovation, and Digital (GID) division, shook up his new executive team by putting new presidents at the helm of the Gap and Banana Republic brands.
All of this signals more changes ahead at a massive global retailer trying to navigate a turbulent apparel landscape, a real estate-heavy industry disrupted by digital, and a stable of brands that include some lackluster icons.DS