Demand is apparently off the charts. During a conference call with analysts Thursday evening, Syngal said that “it’s had a great response. We’ve had a much younger customer. We’ve had 75% of those customers being new to the Gap brand. And so we’re excited to be out the gate.”
Beyond Kanye, Syngal said that the Gap has benefited from solid demand for all of its clothing as consumers “embraced summer with optimism.”
“We saw a celebration of American style, of ’90s nostalgia and the resurgence of denim. All of this sits in a sweet spot,” she said.
The hoodie makes a huge comeback
There has also been a resurgence of the Gap hoodie, which Syngal said was partly driven by viral TikTok videos.
“Our classic Gap hoodie is having a moment, so much so that we reissued it in a vintage brown for preorder delivering this fall,” she said during the call, adding there are “elevated search levels” for it on Google and that sales for the teen version of the hoodie is widely outpacing adult sizes.
“This is a brand that is resonating. This is a brand that people care about and want to wear proudly across their chests,” she said.
The Gap is hoping that the Biles partnership will help Athleta “really begin to take traction with the girl customer,” said Gap chief financial officer Katrina O’Connell on the conference call.
That’s all helping to lift the Gap’s overall sales, which surged nearly 30% from a year ago and were also up 5% from pre-Covid levels in the second quarter of 2019.
Strength at Old Navy drove much of the success, with US sales for the brand accounting for more than 60% of Gap’s total domestic revenue.
“Gap deserves credit for the way it runs Old Navy and has kept the brand fresh and interesting for shoppers,” said Neil Saunders, managing director or GlobalData, in a report.
“This investment has paid substantial dividends in the aftermath of the pandemic as Old Navy’s collections of relaxed family apparel at reasonable price points has resonated with consumers looking to refresh closets and kit out kids for back to school,” Saunders added.
The Gap also said that it is hoping that Banana Republic, a business casual brand that has struggled for some time, will start to turn around this fall. Sales were up from last year’s pandemic levels but down 15% from the second quarter of 2019.
Still, analysts are marveling at how quickly Syngal has turned around the entire company.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a speed of transformation like the one you set in motion,” said Barclays analyst Adrienne Yih on the conference call.