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Banana Republic, not that bad

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by deveandepot1, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. a-rock

    a-rock Well-Known Member

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    It's going to happen at some point, if not this fall, soon. Think about how much they invested in Gap to make it feel relevant again. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I predict BR is next. Too much potential money is to be made, not to.
    Was there really an improvement in the Gap or did trends just happen to favor their particular market niche? Fashion went casual and Americana which was fortunate for Gap. Plaid flannels, workwear, military-inspired, casual sneaks like Converse - all easy for them to replicate and sell to their current mkt. Even if the collars on their shirt and the material sucks, oh well because I'm wearing this shirt rumpled and beaten up anyway. And those many looking for a cheaper alternative, Gap has been acceptable. Plus there's few cheaper alternatives unless we're talking about Walmart/Target. In BR's mkt, however, that crap doesn't fly. I bought the $50 Gap chambray with its crappy buttons and stitching, but I'm not about to spend 5x on a crappy suit when there's much better alternatives. That's wear Zara, H&M, etc. have really eaten into BR's mkt.
     
  2. TheDroog

    TheDroog Well-Known Member

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    I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing.

    On the other hand, has BR even tried to see what consumers want or looked at what their competitors are doing? Not that I can tell. It's the same thing season after season.
     
  3. bananananana

    bananananana Well-Known Member

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    I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing.

    On the other hand, has BR even tried to see what consumers want or looked at what their competitors are doing? Not that I can tell. It's the same thing season after season.


    You do realize Gap comp sales are lagging behind both ON and BR right?
     
  4. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Well-Known Member

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    Was there really an improvement in the Gap or did trends just happen to favor their particular market niche? Fashion went casual and Americana which was fortunate for Gap. Plaid flannels, workwear, military-inspired, casual sneaks like Converse - all easy for them to replicate and sell to their current mkt. Even if the collars on their shirt and the material sucks, oh well because I'm wearing this shirt rumpled and beaten up anyway. And those many looking for a cheaper alternative, Gap has been acceptable. Plus there's few cheaper alternatives unless we're talking about Walmart/Target.

    In BR's mkt, however, that crap doesn't fly. I bought the $50 Gap chambray with its crappy buttons and stitching, but I'm not about to spend 5x on a crappy suit when there's much better alternatives. That's wear Zara, H&M, etc. have really eaten into BR's mkt.



    My understanding is Gap brought in people to help reinvent the brand. It was a concentrated effort and has so far been successful. I don't have any details on it, but this is what I heard a while back.
     
  5. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Well-Known Member

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    I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing. On the other hand, has BR even tried to see what consumers want or looked at what their competitors are doing? Not that I can tell. It's the same thing season after season.
    Speak of the devil, I believe these are some of the details that escaped me. [​IMG] If I am a betting man, I believe the strategy was/is to start with the core brand, GAP, then move on to BR. It makes sense if you think about it. I know BR gets a lot of hate on this forum, but there is no reason the same level of planning and thought couldn't be put into it that is currently being put into GAP.
     
  6. bows1

    bows1 Well-Known Member

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    Just posted this is another thread but BR Just redid their chinos, and now the Gavin chino (sized down one) is a very nice slim fit Chino. If you go on a wednesday you can get a pair for 30.
     
  7. El Argentino

    El Argentino Well-Known Member

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    Just posted this is another thread but BR Just redid their chinos, and now the Gavin chino (sized down one) is a very nice slim fit Chino. If you go on a wednesday you can get a pair for 30.
    Agreed - bought one of the Gavins a size down and it fits great. Great silhouette.
     
  8. e0d9n0b5

    e0d9n0b5 Well-Known Member

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    WHOOPS MAYBE I SHOULD read the thread haha
     
  9. a-rock

    a-rock Well-Known Member

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    You do realize Gap comp sales are lagging behind both ON and BR right?

    http://www.gapinc.com/public/Investo...nancials.shtml

    You're right... Gap Division's same store sales have lagged BR. Lagging ON during a recession isn't surprising but lagging BR. Wow...

    Good catch!
     
  10. mkarim

    mkarim Well-Known Member

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    I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing.

    Yes, I don;t shop GAP anymore but I have seen their shirts slimming down.
     
  11. a-rock

    a-rock Well-Known Member

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    Aug 29, 2007
    I would say yes, there was definitely an improvement at Gap beyond the resurgence of casual Americana. It started with Patrick Robinson getting hired 2 years back; as soon as he came on, Gap clothing started to slim down. Next came the "premium denim" line, which seems to be a big success, especially with women. They've rolled out plaid, military, and chambray items exactly as these items have become more popular with the general public, which means they're keeping their ears to the ground and figuring out what people want. I highly suspect they do market research on forums like this to see what people are itching for -- and that's a smart thing. On the other hand, has BR even tried to see what consumers want or looked at what their competitors are doing? Not that I can tell. It's the same thing season after season.
    I wouldn't say Patrick Robinson did anything amazing. All he did was make Gap follow what everyone else was doing. And typical of big clunky companies that are no longer innovative, they show up late, try too hard, and overstay their welcome. The premium denim was nice and I'm a big fan. However I kind of got annoyed at the Canadian tuxedo look they were pushing in S/S. The whole DENIM IS BAAACK! Denim/chambray on top with denim on bottom with denim trucker jacket over. Ridiculous. Same goes for the plaids and the chambrays. The fact that they came out with a chambray shirt last yr was nice, but then they made 15 versions of it. They started slapping tab collars on everything the way BR slaps epaulettes on everything. Now they have these mutant plaid workshirts with tab collars. BR, which I used to think was ok, is just embarrassing now. It's like they're not even aware of trends. They completely missed the boat on the Americana and prep trend. We've seen things like blazers and ties creep into casual wear, and yet they barely had any offerings that seem to take advantage of that. And if entry-level business wear is one of their niches, why don't they have any basic oxford shirting? I see only a white and a douchey-looking grey. Even when I've seen an oxford in store, it usually has way too much sheen and looks/feels completely unoxford-like. Instead they appeared to be stuck in the late 90s, catering to young men that like dark shiny shirts and ties. Brands that cater to middle-aged men (BB, LE, LLBean, RL) have managed to be more "with it" than BR.
     
  12. bananananana

    bananananana Well-Known Member

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    All Gap really did is follow trends, as they usually do, and come out with more models for jeans. They already had raw, japanese selvedge jeans before their big push last year. The biggest thing they did probably was just more marketing.
     
  13. TheDroog

    TheDroog Well-Known Member

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    I agree with what you guys are saying. Gap isn't a trendsetter, nor will it ever be. It's too big and middlebrow of a company to ever push the boundaries of fashion. But I do applaud their willingness to shift with the sartorial winds, so to speak. When premium jeans become popular, they bring out better jeans at a good price point. When chambray shirts become popular, they come out with chambray shirts in lots of colors. I'm okay with that. Robinson shifted Gap from really bad to average, so I'll give him props. I didn't buy anything from Gap for about 5 years and now I'm willing to give them a look.

    What is mindblowing to me is BR's resistance to anything that resembles either fashion or style. It's in a clothing purgatory where everyone always wear a blue dress shirt and Gavin chinos with their shiny black shoes. I hope someone reinvents them, and fast.
     
  14. brad-t

    brad-t Well-Known Member

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    i've never been in a banana republic despite walking by a huge one all the time. is it worth going in to see how bad it is?
     
  15. bananananana

    bananananana Well-Known Member

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    No. Your time is way too valuable to spend 15 minutes inside a store.
     
  16. TheDroog

    TheDroog Well-Known Member

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    i've never been in a banana republic despite walking by a huge one all the time. is it worth going in to see how bad it is?

    Probably not. The clothing isn't comically ugly like, say, Express, so there is little entertainment value. You'd probably fall asleep staring at their tables of taupe-colored merino sweaters.
     
  17. a-rock

    a-rock Well-Known Member

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    What is mindblowing to me is BR's resistance to anything that resembles either fashion or style. It's in a clothing purgatory where everyone always wear a blue dress shirt and Gavin chinos with their shiny black shoes. I hope someone reinvents them, and fast.

    It's totally diff now. The blue shirt is slimmer. The gavin chinos recut. The black shoes, more blacker.
     
  18. bows1

    bows1 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah working at Banana Republic sucks. I get 50% off and don't buy shit cause none of it fits or looks good. I absolutely hate selling people a dark black button up with thick purple stripes and dark purple tie to go with it. I try to piece together a nice shirt + tie combo for them out of the shit we have, and their girlfriend always picks out the worst combo ever, (see above, or dark green shirt with dark green tie :fail[​IMG] and they always go with her choice. /rant The only thing that I like from them is, like i said before, Gavin sized down one. Every now and again they will have one style of boot that is nice and I can usually wait until deep discount to grab it because no one will buy it when it doesn't have a square bicycle toe.
     
  19. Johdus Fanfoozal

    Johdus Fanfoozal Well-Known Member

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    The gavin chinos recut.

    I tried on a pair the other day. I don't see much of a difference from ones I've had in the past. They've always seemed cut pretty well. I still think they're the best run-of-the-mill khaki over Dockers, RL, Crew, other mall brands, etc.

    Also disagree about their shirts. Tried on a few dress and casual ones. Still too bulky even in "slim fit" and I'm 5'9" 160.

    Same with outerwear. Medium is too billowy. Small doesn't have enough room in the shoulders.

    Sport jackets in "Tailored Fit" are cut very well compared to "Modern Fit."
     
  20. jet

    jet Well-Known Member

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    i've never been in a banana republic despite walking by a huge one all the time. is it worth going in to see how bad it is?

    It's great cure for insomnia I can tell you that much.
     

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