Gap will shed more than 100 European stores as it focuses on online shopping.

by Msnbctv news staff

Gap will close all its 81 stores in Britain and Ireland by the end of September as it increases its focus on online shopping, it said on Wednesday. The retailer also plans to shed its 32 locations in France and Italy.

“The e-commerce business continues to grow and we want to meet our customers where they are shopping,” Gap said in a statement.

The company is in negotiations with Hermione People and Brands, the retail branch of FIB Group, to take over Gap stores in France, while a buyer for the Italy locations is still not certain.

The retailer said in October that it would close 30 percent, or 350, of its Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America by January 2024 as it tries to reduce its exposure to declining indoor malls. Gap also plans to focus on its Old Navy and Athleta brands, hoping to open at least 50 more of locations by the end of the year.

Only about 17 percent of the company’s overall sales came from indoor malls in the first three months of this year.

Gap’s first-quarter sales rebounded 89 percent to $4 billion from a year earlier and rose 8 percent from the same period in 2019. It posted a profit of $166 million, compared with a loss of nearly $1 billion a year earlier.

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