After four decades, American clothing and accessory retailer, Gap Inc. has decided to close down 200 of its 900 stores in the United States by 2013 and restructure its signature look to give a contemporary feel.

The Independent quoted company chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy announcing at a consumer conference that the new repositioning is a huge opportunity ... to fill in with trend-right products ... and focus on new category development.

Founded in 1969 by Don Fisher, the San Francisco-based retail house mainly targeted the younger generation with its signature collection of finely tailored blue jeans and cotton T-shirts. The brand gradually became very popular among those who seek modern, accessible luxury.

Although the brand still aims to retain its original image, it seeks to extend its horizons in new areas with high-end designer collections.

A spokesperson from the company stated that Gap is most successful when it finds its place within the season's trends. The flare and the wide-leg pants are good examples. They are the sort of pieces that could appeal regardless of how closely you follow trends.

According to the company, the Gap has about 1,577 stores globally, of which 1,430 of those are company-owned and 147 are franchise businesses. In addition to this, Gap brand is available for purchase online in 72 countries (many of which overlap with the countries where there are stores).