Mobile remains top digital priority for Gap

Gap underlined a commitment to expand and enhance its digital capabilities via its Q3 results statement this week, saying mobile remains a top tech priority for the group.

It said that new, responsive features are being introduced "to create a rich, engaging and easy mobile shopping experience", with the ultimate aim – as it is for many of today's retailers – to make it as easy as possible for its customers to make a purchase.

The news came as Gap Inc, which also owns Banana Republic and Old Navy, reported a drop in like-for-like sales for the three months to 31 October 2015. Group net sales dipped 2% and totalled $3.86 billion, with Gap sales down by 4%, Banana Republic dropping by 12% and Old Navy up by 4%.

Group Q3 sales in Europe, which include the performance of 100+ UK Gap stores and ten UK Banana Republic shops, were down from $220 million last year to $199 million. Attention now turns to the traditionally busy Christmas period across all Gap's territories.

Art Peck, Gap CEO, said: "With a challenging third quarter behind us, we are sharply focused on holiday execution across all channels.

"We are driving forward on our key strategies designed to fuel future growth."

These key strategies referenced by Peck were announced in a general business update in the summer, where he said that the retail industry was at a "pivot point, where digital experiences are redefining how customers shop and engage with brands".

At the time, the CEO committed Gap to testing and rolling out new innovations in an attempt to stay ahead of the customer, rather than get left behind.

One notable development since the summer presentation saw Gap launch a partnership with Virgin Hotels that allows guests the option to have the latest Gap products delivered straight to their hotel room, via Virgin's hotel mobile app or website.

Using the infrastructure behind Gap's Reserve in-Store process, Virgin Hotels will collect products on their guests' behalf and deposit them in their rooms. It's another example of a retailer trialling a new fulfilment offering, to help customers purchase items whenever they want and wherever they are.

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