Clothing retail giant considers closing Rugby distribution centre - The Rugby Observer

Clothing retail giant considers closing Rugby distribution centre

Rugby Editorial 23rd Oct, 2020   0

WAREHOUSE jobs in Rugby could be at risk after clothing retailer Gap announced it was considering closing its EU distribution centre.

The company has announced a strategic review of its European businesses, throwing the future of its Castle Mound Way distribution centre into doubt.

The review also includes the possibility of closing all of its own UK stores next summer, putting thousands of jobs at risk, and moving its operations to franchise-only in Europe.

The company, which has more than 70 stores in the UK, said it wants to operate in Europe through ‘partnerships’, potentially both online and in stores.

Mark Breitbard, Head of Gap Brand Global, said: “We are reviewing our warehouse and distribution model and our Gap and Banana Republic company-owned e-commerce operations in Europe.

“A possible outcome is the closure of our EU distribution centre in Rugby.

“We will look at transferring elements of the business to interested third parties as part of a proposed partnership model expansion.

“We are committed to sharing more as we thoughtfully work through this process.

“To the teams that support our European business, I want to thank you for your understanding as we go through this process and express my appreciation on behalf of the entire leadership team.”

A spokesperson added: “We have a strong franchise partner model for international markets, with 400-plus Gap franchise stores in 35 countries, including Europe. We are exploring different ways to operate our Gap business in Europe.”

The retailer, whose sales have been falling in recent years, reported a £740m loss in the three months to May due to Coronavirus disruption.

Gap declined to reveal how many employees work at the Rugby distribution centre.

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