retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Michael Sansolo's column this morning took note of how the current issue of Fast Company looks at companies that have resurrected themselves, finding ways to re-connect with consumers after periods of misfires and misjudgments.

But I'd also like to refer you to a specific story about a company that was hot, went cold, then got hot again and now is in a cold period, seeking yet another revival: Gap.

"The brand enjoyed a 15-year reign over classically cool, affordable American style, but it has spent the past decade-plus struggling with an identity crisis while new retailers have colonized much of its domain," Fast Company writes. "The iconic brand slept through the fast-fashion revolution fueled by the likes of European labels H&M and Zara; got lost amid competitors such as Uniqlo and Target, who offered basics and denim at higher and lower price points; overexpanded; and became too ubiquitous for today’s niche-minded fashion crowd."

How do you solve such a set of problems? That's the question facing the company's new CEO, Art Peck, who says that Gap has "been doing business the same way for 40 years, and there are very few 40-year-old business models that are successful forever ... Periods of disruption are periods of disproportionate opportunity. More money is made during disruptive times - but is also lost - than is made during times of stability."

Fascinating story ... and you can read it here.
KC's View: