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The Bay/Bloor store is supposed to be a flagship (the Canadian offices are in that building), so I would not expect that location to close.
 
If the men's 'section' at the Bay/Bloor location is anything to go by I am not surprised. Easily one of the worst men's depts I have ever seen. Pointless, really. They kept moving it around and it got smaller and smaller every time. And the selection is ridiculously bad. It's up there (down there?) with Forever21 (totally pointless men's section) and Club Monaco (why are they even bothering anymore with a men's dept here?) Can't lie, won't lie, though, I still buy Gap boot-cut jeans. Skinny jeans are for 19 yo's. Lol. :p

I can confirm that the trend of the shrinking men's section is alive and well in Durham Region stores as well.

It's pointless to go into those locations any longer for any thing other than tees and jeans.
 
Just came across this opinion piece which touches on some good points about the "fast disposable fashion" trend, one of the factors contributing to the slow demise of retailers like the Gap. It was written by an industry person and competing retailer so take that into consideration.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102803500

Fast fashion's dirty secret—and a solution made in America

Maxine Bédat, co-founder of Zady


You need to know about the dark side of the biggest trend in fashion and the role that America might play in providing a solution.

If you have been following retail news lately, you will have come across some major changes happening across the fashion landscape. For years the brands that once filled our malls have been floundering. The latest news includes a massive lay offs at J.Crew and the closure of 175 Gap stores. Customers are fleeing this traditional middle market for "fast fashion," retailers like H&M and Zara, which pump out cheap clothes based on of-the-moment runway trends.

If you have been following national or world news, you may have heard about the relentless drought in California and the Pope's plea to end global warming.


While fashion and the environment are covered separately, the trend in one could be causing headlines in the other. Our demand for fast fashion has led to an explosion of production of apparel: In fact, we consume 400 percent more clothing today than we did 30 years ago. That shift from mid-market to fast fashion has also tracked a shift from domestic production to cheaper and cheaper overseas locations from Hong Kong, to mainland China and now to even lower cost centers including Vietnam and Bangladesh.

When Gap first opened, 95 percent of the clothing we wore was American made; today that number is less than 3 percent. Of course, a lot of American jobs were lost in that transition, but we also lost environmental control of our production. Low cost means low regulation. Governments in today's textile producing countries have little oversight into what happens in their factories, so textile companies just keep those engines roaring, running largely on coal, while they systematically dump their chemicals untreated back into their local water. This has all added up to the apparel industry being the second most polluting industry in the world, behind only the oil sector, according to a 2013 study from the Danish Fashion Institute.

Speaking of oil, because of our thirst for fast fashion, we now wear more polyester—a fabric made from oil—than any other fiber.

We, the consumers, are not the ones winning from all of this. Fast fashion companies work off of a model of "planned obsolescence," that means instead of designing and creating garments to stand the test of time, they have created an industry (supported by fashion media) of micro-trends. Products are designed to go out of style quickly, often falling apart after just a few washes. Beneficiaries of the system include the CEOs of major retailers like Zara's CEO Amancio Ortega-—currently #4 on the Forbes List-—and the family behind H&M.

So now the good news, this slide to fast fashion is not inevitable. Unlike government gridlock, we, the consumers, are the ones in control.

And America could play a crucial role in the solution. Several decades ago the textile industry in this country cleaned up its act. It developed municipal water treatment plants like the one we use in North Carolina, so that the chemicals used in the industry are kept out of our water supply. This country developed a system to tag and test every bail of cotton to allow organic cotton to bloom; a USDA organic label is one we can trust. We have dye houses pioneering low-impact water-based dyeing in North Carolina at T.S. Designs. Finally, we have regulations in place from the EPA to limit the environmental impact our factories.

At Zady we're re-envisioning the future of fashion. We're excited to bring a good dose of American ingenuity to create an alternative to fast fashion where brands compete on style and quality and no longer have frightening truths to hide.

 
I remember being in high school back in the 90s and all my clothes were from the GAP and Club Monaco. H&M effectively killed the GAP along with Amercrombie, Hollister and stores like Forever 21. Talk about a brand stuck in the past...
 
Abercrombie is suffering too though, isn't it? At least that's what I've read. I've never set foot in one of their stores as I am nowhere near their target demographic.

But yeah, the disappearance of the middle class -- or at least, middle-class-oriented retailers -- is a big part of the blame. Everything is going upscale or at least pseudo-luxury, or to cheap, up-to-the-second fast fashion retailers like H&M (and Primark in countries where they operate). One of the ideas behind H&M which I thought was brilliant was that they supposedly get new items in every day, with the idea being that returning customers should always find something new each time they visit. Admittedly, a lot of their product borders on disposable, but then I can't really shop there anyway, since they don't offer much that fits me in the first place.
 
True, I guess I didn't realize Abercrombie was suffering too, I never step foot in those places.

H&M is my go-to store though. I get nice dress pants there for $29-$39, dress shirts as low as $18 that fit perfectly...
Plus once I push aside all the hipster-looking and overly skinny fitting stuff I can generally find all my casual clothes there quite cheap too. I can't justify shopping at more expensive places even if the budget allows.
 
Not surprised about Abercrombie. Their stuff is overpriced for what you get. Why go there when I could just scoop up stuff for 70% off from Hollister? I think a lot of people think like me where I will only buy things on sale and I'll only pay good money for higher end things. a tshirt at gap isn't better quality than a t-shirt at H&M. I like Gap selvege jeans. They're well over $100 here. Why would I buy those when I can buy a pair for much cheaper at urban outfitters or somewhere else?

I think Gap outlets do very well too.
 
Abercrombie was at the top of their game back in 2007. They collapsed with the financial crisis in 2008 and slowly re-built some of their client base for the next 3 years or so (never to their former glory) before continuing to lose market share and revenues from 2011 on. Overall sentiment from a business perspective for Abercrombie (which includes Hollister) is not good.
 
...
Everything is going upscale or at least pseudo-luxury, or to cheap, up-to-the-second fast fashion retailers like H&M (and Primark in countries where they operate).
...

It really is. Retailers, from a wide variety of industries, are diverging in a similar manner in their focus. The middle ground is skewing towards lower price points while luxury retailers continue to churn out bigger and better 'must have' frivolous products.
 
Is it really more frugal to go for disposable "fast-fashion"?

I've often heard advice that it is more cost-effective to invest in something that is expensive and lasts, rather than constantly buying cheap clothes that wear out on a regular basis.

Because many people prefer quantity over quality. They also want the latest styles rather than stick with the classics. Therefore, they'll spend, say, $30 on something cheap rather than save up an make a $300 purchase for something that'll last them years.
 
Because many people prefer quantity over quality. They also want the latest styles rather than stick with the classics. Therefore, they'll spend, say, $30 on something cheap rather than save up an make a $300 purchase for something that'll last them years.

I wonder if the fast fashion trend shows any sign of slowing. I have heard many people say they are tired of clothes that wear out after only a few washes, but I don't know if people will react and start to go back to taking care of stuff that lasts (there is a trend among some to seek out vintage as a reaction against fast fashion, but that may be a small minority only). I have heard, at least in the US, consumption of clothing items per year is leveling. But then again, it's hard to resist the allure of cheap and trendy.
 

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