Retailer Gap to close 175 stores across North America

Gap shirts Image copyright Getty Images

The retailer Gap is to close 175 stores across North America over the next few years as it attempts to turn around the business.

A "limited number" of European shops would also close, the San-Francisco-based company said in a statement.

In addition, Gap will also cut about 250 jobs from its head office.

It has been struggling with falling sales as it competes with the likes of Europe's H&M and Zara.

Like-for-like sales for the Gap brand fell by 15% in April, compared with a 3% rise in the same month last year.

Chief executive Art Peck said: "Returning Gap brand to growth has been the top priority since my appointment four months ago."

"Customers are rapidly changing how they shop today, and these moves will help get Gap back to where we know it deserves to be in the eyes of consumers," he added.

The store closures will mean a loss of sales worth about $300m, Gap said, with one-off costs expected to be between $140m to $160m.

It did not say how many employees would be laid off as a result.

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