Gap’s pivot for face masks put $ 130 million on its books


Clothing maker Gap Inc. pivoted its supply chain at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to make face masks. And it literally pays off.The company said on Thursday, when releasing its quarterly results, that it generated $ 130 million in sales during the period for its face masks. This includes sales to individuals and in bulk to businesses. New York City, the state of California and Kaiser Permanente are among its clients, the company said.

In the quarter ended Aug. 1, total Gap sales fell about 18% to $ 3.28 billion, from $ 4 billion a year ago. Its online sales jumped 95%. But those results were weighed down by weak stores, which were forced to close for part of the quarter.

Each of Gap’s brands – including their namesake banner, Banana Republic and Old Navy – currently have their own masks available in store and online, in various designs and colors.

Chief executive Sonia Syngal said on a results conference call that Gap is currently the top Google search result for “face mask style guide.” She said the scaling of this business by Gap is “the ultimate example of how we want to function as a culture.”

At the start of the pandemic, face masks were scarce. A number of retailers such as Anthropologie and Madewell have sought opportunities to get involved, especially as the benefits of wearing face masks have become more evident. Some cities and states have deployed mask warrants, since then, to try to curb the spread of Covid-19, which can be transmitted by respiratory droplets from person to person.

Gap shares climbed about 4% on Thursday after-hours trading as the retailer reported better-than-expected sales and a narrower-than-expected loss for its fiscal second quarter. Its stock has fallen about 1% since the start of the year.

The strong performance of the online company has helped Gap gain 3.5 million new customers, up more than 165% from a year ago.


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