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A New Old Navy

The Gap grows its discount brand.

by Sabine Bickford

From the November, 2019 issue

Old Navy celebrated its grand opening in Oak Valley Centre in October. It's the second local location for the discount, fast-fashion chain; the first opened in Arborland in 2000.

While there are many similarities between the stores, there are subtle differences. The new store is a tad smaller; its track lighting provides softer illumination, and adds lumber-look workhorse-style shelves to the standard white laminate tables and shelves. A visit to the first store found a young couple singing along and dancing with their toddler to "We Are Family." Similar songs from that era and more recent ones playing at the new store made for a party-like atmosphere.

Originally the Gap Warehouse, Old Navy was given its own branding in 1994. While Gap stores have traditionally been in expensive enclosed malls, Old Navy sticks to cheaper strip centers like Oak Valley. Its niche is more affordable versions of the clothing popularized by its parent company, telegraphed with discount-store design--cement floors, shopping carts, and a checkout area of impulse merchandise that beckons shoppers as they wait in line.

The Gap announced this year that it would spin off the Old Navy brand. While the parent chain is closing stores, Old Navy plans to open 800 new locations, nearly doubling its fleet to 2,000 stores in North America.

The new store combines the spaces of the former Party City space and the Alpha Koney Island restaurant, which closed in May (Marketplace Changes, June). Landlord Fred Goldberg did not return a message asking about rumors that the restaurant may yet resurface at another spot in Oak Valley. But a clerk at a nearby store says Goldberg told him he hadn't heard anything about that.

Old Navy, 2857 Oak Valley Dr. (734) 222-5901. Mon.- Sat. 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. oldnavy.gap.com     (end of article)

[Originally published in November, 2019.]

 



 
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