Chapter 16 ControlCase: GAPThe GAP clothing chain was founded in 1969, by Donald and Doris Fisher, and over the next few decades, it grew into America’s largest fashion retailer. Now, sales have slumped, with same-store sales either flat or declining in 29 of the last 31 months and down 9 percent in each of the last two years. The wheels began to come off in 2000 when the company’s efforts to attract teenagers alienated its twenty and thirty year old customer base. At the same time, CEO Mickey Drexler, whose brilliant management of the fashion side of the business had propelled GAP to success, had let the financial side of the business slip. With production costs out of control and a burgeoning inventory, Drexler was replaced with Paul Pressler, who rapidly closed underperforming plants, reduced inventory, and began carefully tracking the company's finances. Unfortunately, the fashion side was left with no real direction. As the new interim CEO Robert Fisher said, “We almost tried to institutionalize creativity.” GAP
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