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Gap drops Piperlime to focus on fixing its major brands

January 23, 2015, 10:18 PM UTC
Gap's Piperlime Whips Web Into Reality With First Store in SoHo
Signage for The Gap Inc.'s Piperlime is displayed on the door of the new Piperlime store in the Soho neighborhood of New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Piperlime, Gap Inc.?s online-only fashion boutique, is replicating its website in the real world with its first physical store next week as the biggest U.S. specialty-apparel company looks to spur growth in North America. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Peter Foley — Bloomberg via Getty Images

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’s (AMZN), 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.