Gap Inc (GPS) is dropping its small Piperlime online brand so the apparel maker and retailer can focus on fixing the problems bedeviling its much bigger namesake and Banana Republic brands.
Piperlime, which Gap founded in 2006 as a rival to Amazon.com’s (AMZN) Zappos.com, sold shoes, clothing and accessories via e-commerce and through a store in New York’s SoHo district. But it never caught on with a wide audience beyond its core, dedicated customers, and its revenues never topped $100 million, a drop in the bucket for a company with annual sales exceeding $16 billion.
Gap said it would “focus on its portfolio of five brands – Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix, as well as digital and global growth.” Gap has said that it thinks Athleta can emerge as a fourth major brand.
Incoming CEO Art Peck, who has overseen its digital efforts and takes the reins next month, is looking to improve business at Gap, where comparable sales fell 5% in December and at Banana Republic, where they were flat. The company’s Old Navy brand, and its up-and-coming Athleta, which competes with Lululemon Athleta (LULU), have been its prime source of growth.