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- Gap are included in the list of multinational corporations to speak out against Trump's pro-business climate plan, with a Gap representative stating that "we believe that investing in a low-carbon economy will not only help foster a healthier environment, it is also a key to unlocking new business growth potential for the US and around the world" (The Guardian, 2017). This may result in political pressure from the Trump administration on Gap Inc., given that reports indicate the president is taking an increasingly authoritarian approach towards critics (Robin, 2017).
- With the U.S. president placing more pressure on American firms to produce in America, as opposed to outsourcing from cheaper developing companies, the majority of Gap's production is done in South-East Asia, meaning that the firm may face increasing pressure to move some of its production facilities to the U.S.
- In the first fiscal quarter of 2017, the retail environment of the U.S. remained tepid, with this occurring particularly in the apparel sector (Olson, 2017). Nonetheless, Gap's performance in the first-fiscal quarter indicated that the firm's execution resisted the downward trend (Olson, 2017).
- Gap have come under fire in the past year for an advertising campaign branded sexist by critics. Accordingly, the campaign featured an image of a boy labelled 'the little scholar', while a girl was feature next to the boy labelled 'the social butterfly', indicating that while the ad says for the boy that 'your future starts here', for the girl the ad says, 'the talk of the playground' (Hemmingham, 2017). In a society increasingly striving for equal rights between males and females, the ad spared controversy amongst consumers (Hemmingham, 2017).
- Gap Inc. strongly supports the Pride movement, and maintains a strong support for the LGBT community, donating 30 per cent of profits from the Gap brands Pride T-shirts to the UN Foundation to benefit Free & Equal (Gap Inc., 2017a).
- With augmented reality being frequently cited as the future of online fashion applications, Gap have invested in the use of such technology in their clothing application. The Gap app allows consumers to preview clothing in real time, which is a function that is so far not utilised by competitors. However, at present, this level of augmented reality is limited in its application, with the virtual dressing room app being limited in the items it allows consumers to preview on their body (Ion, 2017).
- Gap are further advancing their technological innovation by developing and implementing mobile checkouts in their stores, which allow customers to purchase items using their mobile phone instore (Gap, 2017b).
- Questions have been increasingly raised about the safety and ethicality of Gap factories in Bangladesh, where protests occurred earlier in 2017. One of the top clothing suppliers for Gap was affected by protests over low wages, with Gap releasing a statement to say that they were troubled by the recent events and urging officials to ensure that no member of the protest was targeted "solely because of any association with a trade union or other group" (Abrams and Sattar, 2017). The question remains as to why a large organisation as Gap, which is listed on the stock exchange, is faced by protests over low wages in its factories, when the size of the company indicates its ability to pay fair wages.
- Gap comply with a number of international standards regarding the legal and ethical obligations of a firm to its stakeholders. These include providing equal pay, where the organisation was the first Fortune 500 company to pay women and men equally, compliance to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act (Gap, 2017b).
PESTEL Analysis Resources
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- Abrams, R. (2017) 'Protests in Bangladesh shake a global workshop for apparel.' New York Times. [Online] [Accessed on 16 July 2017] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/22/business/bangladesh-protest-apparel-clothing.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FGap%2C%20The%2C%20Inc.
- Blog Preston. (2017) 'Gap Outlet in Preston displays a closing sign.' [Online] [Accessed on 27 July 2017] http://www.blogpreston.co.uk/2017/07/gap-outlet-in-preston-displays-a-closing-sign/
- Gap Inc. (2017a) 'aDressed.' [Online] [Accessed on 21 July 2017] https://adressed.gapinc.com/lgbtq-equality
- Gap Inc. (2017b) 'Be the World's favourite for American style.'[Online] [Accessed on 19 July 2017] http://www.gapinc.com/content/gapinc/html/aboutus.html
- Hemmingham, C. (2017) 'These Asda, Gap and B&M kids clothes are sparking controversy among shoppers.' Hull Daily Mail. [Online] [Accessed on 19 July 2017] http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/whats-on/shopping/asda-gap-bm-kids-clothes-179565
- Ion, F. (2017) 'The future of augmented reality may actually be in shopping apps.' Android Central. [Online] [Accessed on 28 July 2017] https://www.androidcentral.com/future-augmented-reality-may-actually-be-shopping-apps
- Lieber, C. (2017) 'The Former Gap Employee Creating the Ultimate Zara Competitor.' Racked. [Online] [Accessed on 17 July 2017] https://www.racked.com/2017/7/7/15929830/modern-citizen-zara
- McGregor, K. and Hounslea, T. (2017) 'Gap to close down UK merchandising operation.' Drapers. [Online] [Accessed on 14 July 2017] https://www.drapersonline.com/news/gap-to-close-down-uk-merchandising-operation/7018370.article
- Olson, F. (2017) 'Is the Gap Inc (GPS) In Sound Financial Health?' Simply Wall Street. [Online] [Accessed on 25 July 2017] https://simplywall.st/news/2017/07/25/is-the-gap-inc-gps-in-sound-financial-health/
- Reimann, O., Wagner, U. and Reisinger, H. (2017) 'The Impact of Celebrity Endorsement and Celebrity Co-branding on Perceived Quality: The Role of Celebrity Application Frequency Within a Brand.' In: Advances in National Brand and Private Label Marketing (pp. 55-63). Springer, Cham.
- Reuters. (2016) 'Gap to shut all Banana Republic shops in the UK.' The Guardian. [Online] [Accessed on 19 July 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/oct/18/gap-to-shut-all-banana-republic-shops-in-the-uk
- Robin, C. (2017) 'Think Trump is an authoritarian? Look at his actions, not his words.' The Guardian. [Online] [Accessed on 19 July 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/02/donald-trump-authoritarian-look-actions-not-words
- The Guardian. (2017) 'The Resistance Now: Big corporations come at Trump on climate.' [Online] [Accessed on 15 July 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/31/the-resistance-now-corporations-donald-trump-climate
- Wahba, P. (2017) 'Gap CEO Insists the Company Is Neither Sick nor Dying.' Fortune. [Online] [Accessed on 24 July 2017] http://fortune.com/2017/02/24/gapinc-results/
- World of Wall Street. (2017) 'Global Winter Clothing Market 2017 top players: GAP, American Eagle Outfitters, Backcountry.com and Inditex.' [Online] [Accessed on 27 July 2017] http://www.worldofwallstreet.us/global-winter-clothing-market-2017-top-players-gap-american-eagle-outfitters-backcountry-com-and-inditex/5820
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