Kanye can't save the Gap's inevitable bankruptcy
The gap recently signed a 10 year deal with Kanye West. This will not save the brand from continuing to fade. The company has over 3300 stores which are increasing a liability, not an asset. While gap.com has the 25th ranked website in the shopping category, they are there as a result of retail space, not because they have an amazing website.
they agreed to a 10-year deal starting this month, with the option to renew after five years, according to a person familiar with the negotiations, who was not authorized to speak publicly. At the five-year point, Gap is hoping that Yeezy Gap will be generating $1 billion in annual sales. For context, Gap’s brand brought in $4.6 billion in global revenue last year.
This move to sign Kanye eludes desperation from a company unsure of how to stand out when simply being in the right retail location isn't enough. Success for businesses in digital commerce requires building a community by taking a strong stance in some way. Gap has long tried to appeal to everyone. There has never been any authenticity to the brand and this move continues that trend when its valued ever higher.
The worst part of this deal is that it was made after the company canceled a collaboration with Telfar Clemens, a "black designer upending old ideas about gender, identity and community, who had been announced, to almost as much fanfare." That collaboration seemed more genuine yet was canceled as a result of the coronavirus.
When the stores inevitably begin to close, the site's traffic will slip. With significant changes to the business, gap will declare bankruptcy within 24 months. It won't be Kanye's fault and there's nothing his involvement can do to prevent it.