Farewell, Piperlime: Gap Inc. Shuts Down Online Business

Photo: Via Piperlime.
Gap Inc. has announced today that it is closing its online business Piperlime to focus on boosting sales for its namesake and Banana Republic brands. The news comes amid some big shake-ups in the company, as incoming CEO Art Peck prepares to take the reins at the company. Gap launched Piperlime in 2006 as an online shoe boutique to rival Zappos, but soon expanded to include its own womenswear label, as well as designer merchandise from more elevated brands like Rebecca Minkoff and Kate Spade and indie designers like Misha Nonoo. However, the retailer never really took off, despite appearances on Project Runway and even a brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan that opened in 2012. Gap reports that Piperlime represents less than 1% of the $16 billion company's overall revenue. It goes to show that it takes more than great merchandise to create a successful brand — and Piperlime's broad selection of designers and styles perhaps ultimately hurt it in a market that increasingly rewards places that offer a niche, curated point of view. Piperlime will remain open until April when it will shutter for good. So, get shopping before it goes away. (Fast Company)

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