Gap to close all clothing stores in UK and Ireland and go online-only

Gap to close all 81 stores in UK and Ireland Credit: Yui Mok/PA

US fashion brand Gap plans to close all 81 of its stores in the UK and Ireland and sell its clothes online only.

The company said it would close its stores "in a phased manner" between the end of August and the end of September.

They include 19 stores that were already set to close in July due to their leases ending.

A Gap spokesperson said the move comes after a strategic review of its European business and said it still believes in "Gap’s global brand power".

The company said it also plans to sell its stores in France and Italy.

It is currently negotiating with a company over a take over of its branches in France and it is discussing with another for the potential acquisition of the stores in Italy.

A spokesperson said: “We believe in Gap’s global brand power. We are executing against Gap’s Power Plan and partnering to amplify our global reach.

"Through a strategic review begun last fall of our Gap European business, we conducted a thorough evaluation of each market and potential partners.

"We are in negotiations with FIB to take over all company-operated Gap stores in France by October. In Italy, we are in discussions with a partner for the potential acquisition of our Gap stores.

"We will continue to run and operate our Gap e-commerce business in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

"We are proposing to close all company-operated Gap Specialty and Outlet stores in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in a phased manner between the end of August and the end of September 2021."

Gap said it will start a consultation process with its staff, but did not say how many employees the closures will affect.