Gap’s E-Commerce Project Piperlime Goes Dark

Clothing conglomerate Gap Inc. has decided to let go of its attempt at a stand-alone e-commerce brand, just the latest in a string of company overhauls aimed at improving its brands’ reputations.

Gap’s online clothing retailer Piperlime, launched in 2006, will be shut down entirely by the end of 2015’s first quarter, according to incoming Gap CEO Art Peck.

Gap’s new leader, who doesn’t officially begin the position until Feb. 1, announced in a press release late last week that the Piperlime site will be shut down and the brand’s experimental brick-and-mortar location in Manhattan will close its doors. Experts say Piperlime, which offered private label and third-party designer merchandise, never fully got a grip on the fashion circuit despite a loyal following.

Piperlime’s demise shouldn’t sound alarm bells for Gap, however – the business accounts for less than 1 percent of the $16 billion-dollar company’s revenue, and reports say even more drastic changes are likely ahead at the firm thanks to Peck’s arrival.

“We plan to keep on pushing new ideas and look forward to seeing how we can apply what we’ve learned to the rest of the company,” Peck said in the press release.

The executive – who has spent nearly a decade at Gap and most recently led its Growth, Innovation and Digital division – has already reorganized the clothing conglomerate’s executive team with Gap and Banana Republic brands both being assigned new presidents.

It’s all part of Gap Inc.’s efforts to navigate its lackluster image in a fashion world being reshaped by e-commerce innovation, reports say. The company’s former CEO Glenn Murphy announced plans to leave the firm last October after several rounds of less-than-spectacular sales results.

Now, Peck is tasked with improving Gap’s overall reputation, though it’s unclear where, exactly, e-commerce fits into that goal. But recent trend studies suggest that when it comes to online shopping, personalization, efficient product recommendations and emotion-driven experience drive successful e-commerce ventures.


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