Gap makes mass layoffs in San Francisco, New York and Asia

Photo of Andrew Chamings
Gap's flagship store on Market Street, shuttered during the pandemic in April 2020, and later closed for good.?

Gap's flagship store on Market Street, shuttered during the pandemic in April 2020, and later closed for good.?

Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Global clothing titan Gap, headquartered in San Francisco, is laying off 500 employees, the company confirmed to SFGATE on Tuesday.?

Positions will be eliminated in San Francisco, New York and Asia, as the company struggles with dwindling sales, particularly in its Old Navy brand, which saw a steep decline in sales in early 2022. The company also owns the Banana Republic and Athleta brands.?

Some ousted employees have already been notified, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. Gap confirmed via email that the WSJ reporting is accurate, though declined to comment on the situation.?

The company posted a loss of $49 million over three months ending in July this year. That month also saw the abrupt exit of CEO Sonia Syngal after just two-and-a-half years on the job.?

“We’ve let our operating costs increase at a faster rate than our sales, and in turn our profitability,” the company's interim chief executive Bob Martin wrote in a letter to employees this week, according the WSJ.?

The news comes days after the company parted ways with Kanye West following a public spat over breached agreements in the partnership between his company Yeezy?and Gap.?

Founded in San Francisco in 1969 by the late Donald Fisher and Doris Fisher, the company is still largely in family hands, with Doris and sons Robert and William Fisher acting on the board of directors. (The other Fisher sibling, John, owns the Oakland Athletics but is not a Gap board member, per the company website.)

The company's headquarters, at 2 Folsom St. on the Embarcadero in San Francisco, house approximately 4,000 employees, according to ZoomInfo. In August 2020, during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, the company shuttered its flagship store at 890 Market St.

Gap's stock was trading down about 4% on Tuesday morning.?