Gap Inc. is preparing to shutter its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City on Jan. 20, 2019, according to CNBC. A company spokesperson confirmed the decision, but declined to comment on the reason for the closure.
The Fifth Avenue store would be the most prominent victim of what could become a mass closure of hundreds of mall-based Gap stores. The retailer has been considering “aggressive” closings after the Gap chain reported a 7% same-store sales decrease in Q3 2018.
High New York City rents may be another factor in the flagship store’s closure, even though average asking rents dropped in 15 of 17 of Manhattan’s most prominent corridors this fall, according to a report from the Real Estate Board of New York. The Gap store is located in an area where rents dropped 24%, putting the average at $2,973 per square foot.
Gap could be closing the Fifth Avenue store as part of its overall efforts to focus on higher-performing shops and brands. Even though other Gap Inc. brands saw same-store sales growth in Q3 2018, including Old Navy (4%) and Banana Republic (2%), Gap still accounts for 33% of the company’s total revenue.