Executive in charge of Gap's failed logo change leaving

By @ibtimes on

Gap Inc said the executive who oversaw its failed attempt to update its logo last fall and disappointing sales at its namesake North American stores in December is leaving the company.

Gap did not disclose the reason for the departure of the executive, Marka Hansen, who has headed Gap North America since 2007.

But Hansen's attempt to update Gap's iconic logo came under intense fire in October from customers who preferred the original blue box design.

The outcry forced Hansen to backtrack, and Gap scrapped the new logo just one week after launching it. Hansen acknowledged at the time that the company did not go about this in the right way.

The stores on her watch have struggled. Sales at Gap's namesake North American stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, fell 8 percent in December.

Gap said it had chosen an internal successor, whom it will identify in the next day.

Analysts have faulted Gap's clothing selection, questioning the company's ability to lure shoppers willing to pay full price.

Stifel, Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe said in a research note on Tuesday that Hansen's merchandising efforts were not sufficient to lift Gap's results and fuel market share gains.

Gap, which also operates the Old Navy and Banana Republic chains, also said in a statement that it was comfortable with the current consensus profit forecast for its just-ended fiscal year.

Wall Street analysts on average are expecting a companywide profit of $1.82 per share for the year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The retailer said it would comment on its outlook on Thursday, when it reports its January sales results. Analysts estimate companywide same-store sales fell 2.9 percent last month.

Gap shares were up 0.9 percent at $19.44 in morning trading.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)

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