It is reported that Gap is in a fight with its landlords after telling them it plans to hand back the keys to all its shops across the UK in July 2021. The US fashion retailer, which has 95 stores throughout the UK, is currently considering becoming an online-only business in Europe.

In October 2020 Gap first announced that it was considering the option to shift its operations to a franchise-only model in Europe. However, The Times has reported that it is putting increased pressure on landlords as it tries to break lease contracts early.

Pressure on Gap

In December, Gap announced it will close one of its two stores on Oxford Street. While the company still operates a large flagship further down the famous shopping street, the closure reflects the difficulties many apparel retailers face as the Covid-19 pandemic affects bricks-and-mortar.

For the 12 months prior to 1st February 2020, Gap’s UK retail sales fell by 9.5 per cent to £195.1 million with operating losses of £40.7 million. Gap had also offered landlords to pay reduced rent until July 2021.