Gap Inc. Analysis

of three

Gap Inc. Analysis: Marketing Strategies

Gap spent $673 million, $601 million on advertising in 2018 and 2017 respectively. The company uses social media, print, television, in-store and digital means in marketing its products.

Marketing strategies

  • Gap Inc spent $673 million on advertising in 2018 and $601 million in 2017.
  • The company leverages its distribution networks worldwide in marketing its products. Gap uses over 3,700 retail, wholesale stores to get its products to consumers.
  • The retailers use both online channels and offline channels to market Gap inc products and Gap has a store location search engine integrated into its website, which allows customers the convenience of searching for products.
  • Gap Inc. uses various sales promotions techniques which include offering hard and electronic gift cards, print and media advertising. Gap also uses controversial means to market its products like showing support for interracial family through its ads.
  • Gap Inc uses different channels to promote is brand and products; the company also focuses on making its marketing campaigns more effective through the use of data analytics and personalization. In 2018, the company ran the "Meet Me in the Gap" campaign; the campaign was designed to spread love and drive positive change to demonstrate that feeling good and doing good go together. The campaign went live in November 2018 and spanned, television, mobile, social media, in-store and digital promotions.
  • Gap Inc promote its collections and creates brand awareness through partnerships and campaigns. They launched a menswear collection of GQ's "Coolest Designers on the Planet"; the program recognizes designers from the US And abroad.
  • Gap Inc recently launched "The Gap Back to School Forward" ad campaign on its social media channels. The ad features a 7-year-old blind pianist and 13-year-old electric-guitar player, rocking out to "Sweet Child O' Mine", which is an attempt by Gap to clarify its identity. Through the campaign, Gap hopes to tap into the back to school market and refine the brand's image after its announcement to spin-off Old Navy into a separate, publicly-traded company.


  • Gap Inc was the center of controversy in 2018 when it released an ad campaign featuring a young girl wearing a hijab. The ad received mixed reactions with some people treating it as a welcome sign of diverse representation in media while some French politicians expressing their displeasure in the advertisement, with French MP Aurore Berge stating "Nothing justifies or authorizes the veiling of little girls! And today, Gap makes it a commercial argument under the pretext of an ode to diversity".
  • Politicians in France and Canada called for the boycott of the brand because of the ad.
  • The company was under criticism in 2016 for its ad campaign depicting an image of a boy wearing a t-shirt with captions "the little scholar" with Albert Einstein's, and a picture of a girl wearing a t-shirt captioned "the social butterfly". Many social media users felt the ad promoted gender stereotypes and labeled it sexist.
  • Gap came under criticism when it released an ad in collaboration with Ellen DeGeneres depicting four young girls that are part of Le Petit Cirque. In the image, an African-American girl is posing next to a taller Caucasian girl that is propping her arm on the younger girl's head. People took to social media to express their displeasure, and concern over the image as some stated that the ad cast the black child as "an armrest" and depicts racism.
of three

Gap Inc. Competitors: Part I

PVH, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters and Urban Outfitters are the top competitors to Gap Inc in the retail apparel industry.


Why it is considered a competitor


  • Abercrombie & Fitch is leading global specialty retailer of apparel and accessories for men, women and children.
  • The company's products include tops, swimwear, jeans, accessories, shoes, body care products, fragrances for men and women.
  • Hollister California, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Abercrombie Kids are brands that operate under the umbrella of Abercrombie & Fitch.
  • Abercrombie & Fitch was founded in 1892 and generated revenue of $3.59 billion in 2018.

Why it is considered a competitor

  • Abercrombie & Fitch operates in the same industry with Gap Inc and listed as a top competitor to the company
  • It is recognized as a leader in the industry.
  • The company has a market share of 1.1% in the U.S. apparel market.


  • American Eagle Outfitters is a leading multi-brand specialty retailer, and we operate and license over 1,200 retail stores.
  • The company, through its brands, sells speciality apparel and accessories for women and men, intimates, apparel, activewear and swim collections, vintage sports-inspired apparels.
  • American Eagle Outfitters was founded in 1977, has store locations in 23 countries, 45,000 employees and generated $4.04 billion in revenue.
  • Brands under the company are American Eagle, Aerie, Tailgate, and Todd Snyder.

Why it is considered a competitor

  • American Eagle Outfitters is regarded as a leader in the apparel retail industry.
  • It is considered to be one of Gap Inc's competitors and offers similar products.
  • The company has a market share of 1.24% in the U.S. apparel market.


  • Urban Outfitters offer lifestyle-oriented general merchandise and consumer products and services.
  • Through its brands, the company products include casual women's apparel, activewear, intimates, shoes, accessories, home products, gifts and beauty and wellness, wedding gowns, bridesmaid frocks, party dresses, assorted jewellery, headpieces, footwear, lingerie and decorations.
  • Urban Outfitters brands are Anthropologie, Bhldn, Free People, Terrain, Urban Outfitters brand, Nuuly, and Vetri Family.
  • Urban Outfitters was founded in 1970 and incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1976, has 23,000 employees, and generated revenue of $3.6 billion in 2018.

Why it is considered a competitor


To provide the top competitors to Gap Inc, we searched through the company's annual and investor reports, business databases and swot analysis of Gap Inc. We came across multiple articles and reports on the competitors of the company from sources like Forbes, NASDAQ, Marketing91, Mbaskool, Bloomberg, among others but there were no quantitative reasons why the companies were listed as competitors to Gap Inc. We turned to the annual reports published by the company; on the reports, Gap Inc didn't directly disclose the companies it considers its top competitor but rather, the company stated that it competes with "local, national, and global apparel retailers" in the apparel retail industry.

Next, we looked for reports on the global retail industry, specifically focusing on the key players in the industry. The goal was to locate the companies operating in the sector as Gap Inc also operates in the same industry. We found several market reports on the industry but in other to get a comprehensive view of the leading players in the industry, we leveraged information provided by NASDAQ and CSI Markets on top competitors to Gap Inc in the retail apparel industry. Upon finding leaders in the industry, we chose the top competitors to Gap Inc based companies that operate mainly in retail apparels, offer similar products, regarded as an industry leader in the market, and their market share in the U.S. apparel market.


To obtain the market share, we carried out the calculations below.
  • Formula: (revenue of company / market size) * 100
  • U.S. apparel market size = $326,109,580,000

PVH market share

Abercrombie & Fitch market share

American Eagle Outfitters market share

Urban Outfitters market share

of three

Gap Inc. Competitors: Part II

Facebook is the most active platform for Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters while Instagram is the preferred social media platforms for Gap Inc, PVH, and Urban Outfitters in terms of post frequency.


  • Overall, Gap Inc's most engaging platform is Instagram. On the platform, it has a high following, most engagements and the company posts frequently on its Instagram account.


  • Gap Inc's Twitter posts are a repeat of its posts on Instagram and contain mainly ads promoting the company's different brands and posts on inclusion and diversity.
  • Their tweet on July 31, 2019, announcing Allyson Felix as the first Athleta brand-sponsored athlete gathered the most engagements with 463 likes and retweets.
  • Number of followers: 12.7k
  • Number of tweets: 6,312

  • Gap Inc's Facebook posts are the same content posted on its Instagram and Twitter accounts. The posts feature promoting inclusion and diversity and influencers displaying the company's brand products.
  • Their Facebook post on July 31, 2019, announcing Allyson Felix as the first Athleta brand-sponsored athlete gathered the most engagements with 182 likes, 35 shares and 2 comments.
  • Number of followers: 82,336
  • Number of likes: 82,573

  • Gap Inc's YouTube videos consist of influencers modeling the company's brand lines, video on inclusion and diversity and the latest happenings around the company.
  • Their most engaged YouTube content is a video which features the manufacturing process for its leather belts products and gathers a total of 10,624 views.
  • Number of subscribers: 1.1k


  • Instagram is PVH's most used social media platform with the most number of engagements and followers. Their posts across social media accounts consist of posts promoting inclusion and diversity, news around the company and its brands and interviews on influencers.

  • PVH's post celebrating the #FWDFashion CR Challenge winners had the most engagements with 348 likes and 12 comments.
  • Their recent posts are mainly promoting the company's culture and inclusion and diversity.
  • Number of followers: 7,582
  • Number of posts: 280
  • Engagement rate: 3.24%

  • PVH's tweets consist of the news about the company and posts promoting inclusion and diversity.
  • Their retweet of Zendaya modeling Tommy Hilfiger swimsuit had the most engagements with 2.8k retweets and likes.
  • Number of followers: 887
  • Number of tweets: 410

  • PVH's Facebook posts are the same content posted on its Twitter account. The posts feature promoting inclusion and diversity and news about the company and its brands.
  • Their most engaged recent post on the platform is a post celebrating the CEO and Chairman of the company being appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board. The post gathered 26 shares, 203 likes and 21 comments.
  • Number of followers: 11,103
  • Number of likes: 10,643



  • Abercrombie uses its social media platforms to promote its brands and products. The company uses influencers for advertising its brands. Facebook is Abercrombie's most active platform with the most engagements and number of followers. Contents posted on the company's Facebook accounts have the highest number of likes and comments compared to any other of its social media accounts.


  • Their most engaging content was a post on the brand's new product. The tweet gathered a total of 80 likes and retweets and 2 comments.
  • Abercrombie Twitter posts consist of influencers modeling the company's brands products. The company uses the platform to advertise its products.
  • Number of followers: 555k
  • Number of tweets: 2,989

  • Contents posted on its Facebook account are the same contents posted on Twitter and Instagram accounts. The posts feature influencers modeling the company's brands.
  • Their most engaging content was a post on the brand's new product. The post had 2.2k likes, 48 comments and 29 shares.
  • Number of followers: 8,526,276
  • Number of likes: 8,511,628

  • Abercrombie & Fitch is not so active on its YouTube account. The company uses the media to promote its products and brands.
  • Its most engaging content was a video of influencers modeling the company's products. The video had 5,636 views.
  • Number of subscribers: 34,806


  • American Eagle Outfitters posts across its social media platforms are targeted towards promoting the company's products with a focus on their jeans. The company posts the same content across its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts with Facebook having the most engagements and highest number of followings and likes.

  • American Eagle Outfitters posted a question asking its followers to comment on how many of the brand's jeans they own. The post was the most engaging recent post with 62k comments and 412 comments.

  • American Eagle Outfitters tweets are a re-post of its Instagram posts which features influencers and celebrity modeling the company's products, with a focus on their jean brands.
  • A tweet with the hashtag "#PrideMonth!" gathered the most engagement among its recent tweets with 18 retweets and 87 likes.
  • Number of followers: 634k
  • Number of tweets: 38.5k

  • Like its Instagram and Twitter accounts, American Eagle Outfitters uses Facebook to promote its products with a focus on their jeans lines. They mainly use influencers and celebrities to model the brands.
  • Number of followers: 11,285,412
  • Number of likes: 11,558,149

  • American Eagle Outfitters YouTube channel features interviews on people sharing their experiences with the company's brands and products and influencers promoting their brands.
  • Its most-viewed recent content was a video promoting the company's jeans lines. The video had 531,621 views.
  • A post on the company's jeans products gathered with the most engagements among recent posts with 1k likes, 324 comments and 111 shares.
  • Number of subscribers: 20,321


Urban Outfitters Instagram account is the most engaged of all its social media platforms. Across its social media accounts, the company advertises its products and shares link to purchase the products.

  • Urban Outfitters uses Instagram to advertise its products.
  • A post advertising the Fujifilm Instax Northamerica Mini 9 camera had 208k likes and 659 comments; which is more than any other recent posts.
  • Number of followers: 8.8 million
  • Number of posts: 10,984
  • Engagement rate: 0.58%

  • The company Twitter posts are the same posts made on its Instagram account. Urban Outfitters advertises its products through the platform.
  • Their post advertising the 2XLP pink Vinyl product in celebration of Lana Del Rey had the most engagements, with 225 likes and retweets and 8 comments.
  • Number of followers: 1.01 million
  • Number of tweets: 37.6k

  • Urban Outfitters Facebook posts are a re-post of its Instagram and Twitter posts which includes advertising its products.
  • The most engaged recent post on the platform was the company's announcement of a new product launch in its furniture collection. The post gathered 1.8k likes, 1.3k comments and 59 shares.
  • Number of followers: 2,166,099
  • Number of likes: 2,217,669

  • Urban Outfitters uses YouTube to advertise its products and interviews by influencers and celebrities sharing their experiences.
  • An interview with Hayley Williams in the "Open Up" series had the most views of recent posts with 520,115 views.
  • Number of subscribers: 95,152

From Part 03