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Company > Gap: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Gap: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Feb 04, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model of Gap, one of the leading clothing retailers in the market. We will explore the key components of their business model, including their target market, unique value proposition, and revenue streams. Additionally, a comprehensive SWOT analysis will be conducted to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that Gap faces in the ever-evolving retail industry. Furthermore, we will analyze Gap's competitors to gain insights into their strategies, market positioning, and potential challenges that Gap may encounter in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Gap and the significance of their ownership in the company.
    • The mission statement of Gap and how it guides the company's actions and goals.
    • How Gap makes money and the different revenue streams it utilizes.
    • An explanation of the Gap Business Model Canvas and its components.
    • The main competitors of Gap and their impact on the company's market position.
    • A comprehensive Gap SWOT analysis, including an assessment of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns Gap?


    One of the most iconic American clothing brands, Gap, has been a staple in the fashion industry for decades. With its timeless designs and trendy collections, many people may wonder who exactly owns Gap. In this section, we will explore the ownership structure of Gap and the key stakeholders involved.

    Gap's Ownership Structure

    Gap is a publicly traded company, meaning its ownership is distributed among shareholders who hold its stock. As of [current year], Gap's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "GPS." This allows individuals and institutional investors to own a piece of Gap through purchasing its shares on the stock market.

    Major Shareholders

    Several major shareholders have significant ownership stakes in Gap. These shareholders often play a crucial role in the company's decision-making processes and overall direction. It is important to note that the ownership percentages may vary over time due to stock transactions and market fluctuations. Here are some of Gap's major shareholders:

    1. Fisher family: The Fisher family has a long-standing history with Gap. Donald Fisher, along with his wife Doris, founded the company in 1969. The Fisher family has been actively involved in the business and continues to hold a substantial ownership stake in Gap, making them one of the largest shareholders.

    2. Institutional investors: Various institutional investors, such as mutual funds, pension funds, and asset management firms, also hold significant ownership positions in Gap. These investors often manage large portfolios and allocate funds into different companies, including Gap, based on their investment strategies and market outlook.

    3. Individual shareholders: Many individual investors, both retail and professional, own Gap's stock. These individuals can purchase shares through brokerage accounts or investment platforms. Their ownership collectively contributes to the overall ownership structure of Gap.


    Gap's ownership is distributed among various stakeholders, including the Fisher family, institutional investors, and individual shareholders. As a publicly traded company, Gap offers opportunities for investors to become part-owners and share in the company's successes and challenges. Understanding the ownership structure of Gap provides insights into the key players involved and their influence on the brand's future.

    What is the mission statement of Gap?

    The Mission Statement of Gap: Bridging the Gap Between Fashion and Sustainability

    Gap, a renowned global clothing and accessories brand, has a clear and concise mission statement that encompasses its core values and goals. The company's mission is to "be the world's favorite for American style, while building a more sustainable future." This statement emphasizes Gap's commitment to not only providing fashionable and trendy clothing but also to making a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole.

    Fostering a Sustainable Future

    Gap understands that the fashion industry has a significant environmental footprint, and it aims to minimize its impact through various initiatives. The company actively focuses on reducing its carbon emissions, conserving water, and implementing sustainable sourcing practices. By embracing sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, Gap strives to create clothing that is both stylish and environmentally friendly.

    Championing Ethical Practices

    In addition to sustainability, Gap places a strong emphasis on ethical practices throughout its supply chain. The company is dedicated to ensuring fair and safe working conditions, not only for its own employees but also for those working in its global network of suppliers. Gap believes in fostering long-term relationships with its suppliers, based on trust, transparency, and mutual respect.

    Empowering Communities

    Gap recognizes its role in making a positive impact on the communities it operates in. With this in mind, the company actively engages in philanthropic endeavors and supports various social causes. Gap Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm, focuses on empowering women and youth through education and career development programs. By investing in the communities it serves, Gap aims to create a brighter and more inclusive future for all.

    Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

    Gap understands the importance of diversity and inclusion in both its workforce and the fashion industry as a whole. The company is committed to fostering an inclusive environment that celebrates differences and promotes equal opportunities. Gap believes that diversity sparks creativity, innovation, and a deeper understanding of its diverse customer base, ultimately leading to better products and experiences.


    Gap's mission statement clearly reflects its commitment to bridging the gap between fashion and sustainability. By prioritizing sustainability, ethical practices, community empowerment, and diversity, Gap aims to create a positive impact on the environment, society, and the fashion industry. Through its mission, Gap strives to not only be a favorite brand for American style but also a catalyst for change towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.

    How does Gap make money?


    Gap Inc. is a global specialty retailer that operates several well-known brands, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta. With a strong presence in the fashion industry, Gap Inc. generates revenue through various channels and business strategies.

    Retail Stores

    One of the primary ways Gap Inc. makes money is through its extensive network of retail stores. The company operates thousands of stores worldwide, offering a wide range of clothing, accessories, and personal care products. These stores serve as the main revenue-generating channels for Gap Inc. by catering to the needs and preferences of its customers.


    In addition to physical stores, Gap Inc. has embraced the digital era by establishing a robust e-commerce presence. The company operates online platforms for each of its brands, allowing customers to browse and purchase products from the comfort of their homes. E-commerce has become an increasingly important source of revenue for Gap Inc., especially considering the growing trend of online shopping.

    Licensing and Franchising

    Gap Inc. also generates revenue through licensing and franchising agreements. The company has licensed its brands to various partners, enabling them to produce and distribute Gap-branded products in specific markets or product categories. This approach allows Gap Inc. to expand its reach and generate additional income without directly operating in those regions or industries.

    Similarly, Gap Inc. grants franchise opportunities to entrepreneurs who want to operate Gap-branded stores. Franchisees pay upfront fees, ongoing royalties, and adhere to Gap Inc.'s guidelines and standards. By leveraging the expertise and resources of franchise partners, Gap Inc. can enter new markets and expand its global presence while sharing the financial risks and responsibilities.

    Collaborations and Partnerships

    Gap Inc. has successfully collaborated with other brands and designers to create exclusive collections and limited-edition products. These collaborations generate excitement among consumers and often lead to increased sales and brand exposure. By partnering with renowned designers or popular brands, Gap Inc. can tap into new customer segments and create unique offerings that stand out in the market.


    Gap Inc. employs multiple revenue streams to ensure its financial success. Through its retail stores, e-commerce platforms, licensing and franchising agreements, as well as collaborations and partnerships, the company maximizes its reach and profitability. As Gap Inc. continues to adapt to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics, its ability to generate revenue from various sources remains a key factor in its enduring success in the fashion industry.

    Gap Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is a Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that allows businesses to visually articulate and analyze their business model. It provides a comprehensive framework for understanding how different elements of a business work together to create value and generate revenue. The canvas is divided into nine key building blocks, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partnerships, and cost structure.

    Understanding the Gap Business Model Canvas

    The Gap Business Model Canvas is a specific adaptation of the original Business Model Canvas that is tailored to the unique characteristics and strategies of the Gap Inc., a renowned American clothing and accessories retailer. By applying the canvas to the Gap, we can gain insights into how the company creates and delivers value to its customers, as well as how it sustains its competitive advantage in the highly competitive fashion industry.

    Customer Segments

    In the Gap Business Model Canvas, the customer segments are divided into various categories based on demographic and psychographic characteristics. The Gap primarily targets fashion-conscious individuals, including men, women, and children, who are looking for trendy and affordable clothing options. The company also caters to specific segments, such as college students, young professionals, and families, by offering a wide range of styles and sizes to meet varying customer needs.

    Value Propositions

    The value propositions of the Gap revolve around offering fashionable and high-quality clothing at affordable prices. The company focuses on delivering trendy and versatile clothing options that resonate with its target customers. By continuously staying updated with the latest fashion trends and understanding customer preferences, the Gap ensures that its value propositions align with the ever-changing demands of its customer base.


    The Gap utilizes a multi-channel approach to reach its customers. It operates through a network of physical retail stores located in prime shopping locations, allowing customers to have a hands-on experience with their products. In addition to physical stores, the Gap also has a strong online presence, with an e-commerce platform that offers various conveniences such as online ordering, home delivery, and easy returns. This omni-channel strategy enables the Gap to reach customers through multiple touchpoints, ensuring a seamless and convenient shopping experience.

    Customer Relationships

    The Gap places great importance on building strong and long-lasting relationships with its customers. Through personalized marketing and loyalty programs, such as offering rewards and discounts to frequent shoppers, the company aims to create a sense of loyalty and trust with its customer base. By understanding and catering to individual preferences, the Gap strives to provide a personalized and exceptional customer experience that goes beyond just selling clothes.

    Revenue Streams

    The primary revenue stream for the Gap is generated through the sale of its clothing and accessories. The company offers a wide range of products, including jeans, t-shirts, dresses, and accessories, which are priced at various levels to cater to different customer segments. Additionally, the Gap also generates revenue through collaborations with designers and licensing its brand to other companies.

    Key Activities

    The key activities of the Gap include designing, sourcing, manufacturing, and marketing its products. The company invests heavily in product design and development to ensure that its offerings align with the latest fashion trends and customer preferences. Sourcing and manufacturing are crucial aspects of its operations, with the Gap maintaining strong relationships with suppliers and manufacturers globally. Marketing efforts are focused on promoting the Gap brand through various channels, including advertising campaigns, social media, and influencer collaborations.

    Key Resources

    The key resources of the Gap include its brand reputation, intellectual property, supply chain, and talented workforce. The company's brand reputation plays a significant role in attracting customers and differentiating itself from competitors. Intellectual property, such as trademarks and copyrighted designs, helps protect the uniqueness of its products. The Gap's supply chain is a critical resource that ensures the availability and timely delivery of its products. Lastly, the company's employees, from designers to sales associates, contribute to its success by bringing creativity, expertise, and excellent customer service.

    Key Partnerships

    The Gap maintains strategic partnerships with various stakeholders to enhance its business operations. This includes collaborations with designers and celebrities to create exclusive collections and generate buzz around the brand. The company also partners with suppliers and manufacturers to ensure a reliable and efficient supply chain. Additionally, the Gap seeks partnerships with technology companies to stay at the forefront of digital innovation and enhance its online presence.

    Cost Structure

    The cost structure of the Gap includes expenses related to sourcing and manufacturing, marketing and advertising, rental and maintenance of retail stores, employee salaries, and technology investments. The company invests in quality materials and sustainable sourcing practices, which contribute to the manufacturing costs. Marketing and advertising expenses are incurred to promote the brand and attract customers. The Gap also incurs costs associated with maintaining its physical retail stores and providing a positive shopping environment. Employee salaries and benefits are an essential part of the cost structure, as the company values its workforce. Lastly, technology investments are made to ensure a seamless online shopping experience and support digital initiatives.

    By analyzing the Gap Business Model Canvas, we can gain a deeper understanding of how the company effectively serves its customers, generates revenue, and maintains its competitive edge in the fashion industry. This canvas serves as a valuable tool for both existing and aspiring business owners to evaluate and refine their own business models.

    Which companies are the competitors of Gap?

    Competitors in the Retail Clothing Industry

    The retail clothing industry is highly competitive, and Gap faces strong competition from several prominent companies. Here are some of Gap's main competitors:

    1. H&M

    H&M, a Swedish multinational clothing retailer, is one of Gap's closest competitors. Known for its trendy and affordable fashion, H&M offers a wide range of clothing and accessories for both men and women. With a global presence and a strong focus on fast fashion, H&M poses a significant threat to Gap's market share.

    2. Zara

    Zara, a Spanish fast-fashion retailer, is another key competitor for Gap. Renowned for its ability to quickly produce and deliver new fashion trends, Zara has revolutionized the industry with its supply chain management. Zara's efficient operations and constant product turnover have made it a popular choice among fashion-forward consumers, posing a direct challenge to Gap's market position.

    3. Forever 21

    Forever 21, an American fast-fashion retailer, competes with Gap by offering trendy apparel at affordable prices. With a focus on catering to the younger demographic, Forever 21 has successfully captured the attention of fashion-conscious individuals seeking budget-friendly clothing options. Its ability to quickly adapt to new trends and offer a wide variety of styles puts it in direct competition with Gap.

    4. Uniqlo

    Uniqlo, a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer, and retailer, also competes with Gap in the global market. Known for its high-quality basics and minimalist designs, Uniqlo has gained a strong following worldwide. With a focus on functional and affordable clothing, Uniqlo appeals to consumers looking for simplicity and reliability, creating a competitive landscape for Gap.

    5. Old Navy

    Old Navy, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., is an interesting competitor within the Gap family. While Gap and Old Navy share a similar target market, Old Navy competes directly with Gap by offering lower-priced clothing options. Old Navy's affordability and broad range of casual apparel make it an attractive alternative for budget-conscious consumers, potentially diverting customers away from Gap's offerings.

    In conclusion, Gap faces fierce competition from various companies in the retail clothing industry. H&M, Zara, Forever 21, Uniqlo, and even its own subsidiary, Old Navy, all vie for market share and consumer loyalty. To stay competitive, Gap must continue to innovate, adapt to changing consumer preferences, and maintain its unique brand identity.

    Gap SWOT Analysis


    • Strong brand recognition and reputation: Gap has been a well-known and trusted brand in the retail industry for several decades. Its name is synonymous with quality and style, which has helped it build a loyal customer base.
    • Diverse product portfolio: Gap offers a wide range of clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. This diversity allows the company to cater to a broad customer base and capture different market segments.
    • Strong online presence: Gap has established a strong online presence through its e-commerce platform and social media channels. This has enabled the company to reach a larger audience and increase its sales.
    • Global presence: Gap operates in several countries around the world, giving it a global reach and exposure to different markets. This allows the company to tap into diverse consumer preferences and expand its customer base.


    • Declining sales and profitability: Gap has experienced a decline in sales and profitability in recent years. This could be due to increased competition, changing consumer preferences, and the rise of online shopping.
    • Overreliance on a few key brands: Gap heavily relies on a few key brands, such as Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, for its revenue. If any of these brands underperforms or loses popularity, it could have a significant impact on the company's financial performance.
    • Lack of innovation: Gap has been criticized for its lack of innovation and failure to stay ahead of fashion trends. This has resulted in a decline in customer interest and a loss of market share to more innovative competitors.
    • Inefficient supply chain: Gap has faced challenges in managing its supply chain efficiently, leading to delays in product delivery and higher costs. This can negatively impact the company's ability to meet customer demand and compete effectively.


    • Expansion into emerging markets: Gap has the opportunity to expand its presence in emerging markets, such as China and India, where there is a growing middle class and increasing disposable income. By entering these markets, Gap can tap into new customer segments and drive revenue growth.
    • Leveraging e-commerce growth: With the increasing popularity of online shopping, Gap can further capitalize on its strong online presence by investing in technology and digital marketing strategies. This can help the company attract more customers and increase sales.
    • Sustainability and ethical fashion: There is a growing demand for sustainable and ethically produced fashion products. Gap can seize this opportunity by incorporating sustainable practices into its supply chain and offering more eco-friendly clothing options to attract environmentally conscious consumers.
    • Collaborations and partnerships: Gap can explore collaborations and partnerships with influential designers or celebrities to create limited-edition collections. This can generate excitement and attract new customers who are interested in exclusive and unique fashion pieces.


    • Intense competition: The retail industry is highly competitive, with numerous brands competing for consumer attention and spending. Gap faces competition from both traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and online retailers, which can put pressure on its market share and profitability.
    • Economic downturns: Economic downturns can significantly impact consumer spending habits, leading to a decrease in demand for non-essential items like clothing. During such times, Gap may experience a decline in sales and struggle to maintain profitability.
    • Changing consumer preferences: Consumer preferences and fashion trends are constantly evolving. If Gap fails to adapt and meet changing consumer demands, it risks losing customers to more trendy and innovative competitors.
    • Negative brand perception: Gap has faced criticism in the past for labor and ethical issues in its supply chain, which has negatively impacted its brand perception. If these issues persist or resurface, it could lead to a loss of customer trust and loyalty.

    Key Takeaways

    • Gap is owned by Gap Inc., a multinational corporation that also owns other well-known brands such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.
    • The mission statement of Gap is to "inspire and connect with the world through its clothing and accessories" by offering high-quality, stylish, and affordable fashion options.
    • Gap primarily makes money through the sale of its clothing and accessories, both through its physical stores and online platforms.
    • The Gap Business Model Canvas explains the key elements of Gap's business strategy, including its target customer segments, value proposition, distribution channels, and key partnerships.
    • Gap faces competition from various companies in the fashion industry, including fast-fashion retailers like H&M and Zara, as well as other mid-range apparel brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle.
    • In a SWOT analysis, Gap's strengths include its strong brand recognition and global presence, while its weaknesses may include challenges in adapting to changing consumer preferences. Opportunities for Gap include expanding into new markets or product categories, while threats include increasing competition and economic downturns.


    In conclusion, Gap, Inc. is a well-known retail company that has been a staple in the fashion industry for decades. The company was founded by Donald Fisher and Doris F. Fisher in 1969 and is currently owned by a diverse range of shareholders. Its mission statement focuses on creating a brand that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability, with a commitment to delivering quality products to its customers.

    Gap primarily makes money through its retail stores, both online and offline, where it sells a wide range of clothing, accessories, and personal care products. The company also earns revenue through its various sub-brands, such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta.

    By analyzing Gap's Business Model Canvas, it becomes evident that the company has a strong emphasis on customer relationships, key partnerships, and cost structure optimization. With a focus on innovation and keeping up with the latest trends, Gap strives to maintain its competitive edge in the fast-paced fashion industry.

    When it comes to competition, Gap faces numerous rivals, including H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and Uniqlo. These companies also target similar customer segments and offer trendy and affordable clothing options. However, Gap's strong brand recognition and loyal customer base give it a competitive advantage in the market.

    Lastly, a SWOT analysis of Gap reveals its strengths in brand recognition, global presence, and diverse product offerings. However, it also highlights weaknesses such as declining sales and reliance on physical stores. Opportunities for Gap include expanding its e-commerce presence and tapping into emerging markets, while threats include intense competition and changing consumer preferences.

    In conclusion, Gap's journey as a fashion retail giant has been shaped by its commitment to quality, diversity, and sustainability. While it faces challenges in an ever-evolving industry, the company continues to adapt and innovate, ensuring its relevance in the fashion landscape for years to come.


    What are gaps in SWOT analysis?

    There are several potential gaps or limitations in SWOT analysis:

    1. Lack of prioritization: SWOT analysis does not provide a clear prioritization of the identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It may not distinguish between more significant or impactful factors and less significant ones.

    2. Subjectivity: The analysis heavily relies on subjective judgments and perceptions of individuals involved. Different stakeholders may have varying opinions on what constitutes a strength or a weakness, leading to biased results.

    3. Lack of external perspective: SWOT analysis primarily focuses on internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) within the organization's control. However, it may overlook or downplay external factors beyond the organization's influence, which can impact its overall strategic position.

    4. Incomplete analysis: SWOT analysis may not consider all relevant factors or overlook important aspects that can significantly impact the organization's performance. It may be limited by the knowledge or expertise of the individuals conducting the analysis.

    5. Lack of actionable insights: While SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the organization's internal and external factors, it does not inherently suggest specific actions or strategies to address the identified gaps. It requires additional analysis and decision-making to convert the insights into actionable steps.

    6. Lack of dynamic assessment: SWOT analysis is typically conducted as a one-time assessment, which may not capture the dynamic nature of the business environment. Factors can change rapidly, and the analysis may become outdated quickly, necessitating regular reviews and updates.

    Can SWOT analysis be used for gap analysis?

    Yes, SWOT analysis can be used for gap analysis. Gap analysis is a technique used to identify the gaps or discrepancies between the current state and the desired state of a business or project. SWOT analysis, on the other hand, is a tool used to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or project. By conducting a SWOT analysis, businesses can identify the gaps in their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats compared to their desired state, thus helping in the gap analysis process.

    What is the weakness of Gap?

    One weakness of Gap is its struggle to stay relevant and differentiate itself in the highly competitive retail industry. The brand has faced challenges in keeping up with rapidly changing consumer preferences and fashion trends, leading to declining sales and a loss of market share. Gap's clothing designs have been criticized for being outdated and lacking innovation, which has made it difficult for the brand to attract and retain customers. Additionally, Gap has faced issues with its supply chain management, resulting in inconsistent product quality and availability. The brand also faces strong competition from both traditional retailers and e-commerce giants, which puts pressure on its profitability. Overall, Gap's weakness lies in its inability to effectively adapt to changing consumer demands and successfully compete in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

    What is gap analysis and why is it important?

    Gap analysis is a process of comparing the current state of a company or organization to its desired future state. It involves identifying the gaps or discrepancies between the two states and determining the actions required to bridge those gaps.

    Gap analysis is important for several reasons:

    1. Goal setting: It helps in setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for the organization. By identifying the gaps between the current and desired states, organizations can establish clear objectives to work towards.

    2. Strategy development: It assists in developing effective strategies to reach the desired future state. By understanding the gaps, organizations can identify the areas that need improvement and devise plans and actions to close those gaps.

    3. Resource allocation: Gap analysis helps in allocating resources efficiently. By identifying the gaps, organizations can determine the resources required to bridge those gaps, whether it is financial, human, or technological resources.

    4. Performance measurement: It provides a benchmark for measuring progress and performance. By periodically conducting gap analysis, organizations can assess how well they are progressing towards their goals and make adjustments as necessary.

    5. Decision-making: Gap analysis assists in informed decision-making. By identifying gaps, organizations can prioritize areas that require immediate attention and make decisions based on the identified gaps and their impact on the organization's overall objectives.

    Overall, gap analysis is essential for organizations to understand their current state, define their future goals, and take necessary actions to bridge the gaps, leading to improved performance, efficiency, and success.

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