Retail

Millennials Give Banana Republic A Big Thumbs-Down

Gap Inc.’s general comeback troubles are well-known, and it looks like it has an especially high mountain to climb when it comes to attracting the young and fashionable to its high-line brand Banana Republic.

Plagued for the last several years by complaints about clunky styling, the latest RBC Capital Markets survey indicates that Banana Republic’s data would best be represented by the sound of 505 young women vomiting.

Really a lousy string of results — 48 percent of millennials polled said they disliked the chain, as opposed to 22 percent who liked it. When nearly half of a polled group calls out really disliking a brand — its clothes, their fit and the customer service they receive — well, the 10 percent drop in same-store sales seen in August doesn’t seem quite so shocking.

Nor does the fact that Banana’s sales have fallen every month for the last 18.

“Our take is that traffic stabilization at this brand will be extremely hard to achieve given multiple years of fashion misses and pricing architecture issues. We think repairing Banana Republic will be a longer battle,” wrote RBC Capital Markets Analyst Brian Tunick.

Also, the fact that millennials are generally not feeling it is not exactly balanced out by older consumer rushing its gates; in fact, non-millennial shoppers somehow like the brand even less. The survey said 53 percent of non-millennials disliked Banana Republic versus 18 percent that viewed the brand favorably.

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