GAP, Inc., the classic American clothing company grew to be one of the largest companies in the world.

It all started when…
Don Fisher, a commercial real estate broker who specialized in retail store location in California, became inspired by The Tower of Shoes which was located in an old Quonset Hut outside the retail district in Sacramento, California. The Tower of Shoes advertised that they had every brand, style, and size of shoes that a woman could want. (Pictured here is a typical Quonset Hut).

Fisher’s friend, Walter “Wally” Haas Jr, was President of Levi Strauss & Co. Fisher, so impressed with The Tower of Shoes business model, asked Haas to let him try it on Levi’s products. Haas agreed and, Fisher and his wife, Doris, having raised $63,000, opened their first store in August of 1969 on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco. Doris named the new store GAP.

GAP‘s 635 US Store Locations

The name GAP was a reference to the generation gap.

Levi’s, and nothing but Levi’s
True to his plan, Fisher stocked only Levi’s apparel–every style and every size. The Levi’s company guaranteed Fisher overnight replenishment so that GAP would never be out of stock.

The first GAP store also stocked LP records
to attract teen customers.

Business was good, and by 1973, the company had expanded to the East Coast with a store in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, New Jersey. There were over 25 GAP stores at this point. In 1974, GAP began to sell private-label merchandise.

In 1977 GAP established GAP Foundation,
a non-profit charitable arm.

In the 1990s, GAP assumed an upscale identity and revamped its inventory.

Pictured here: GAP, Dallas, Texas.

In August of this year, GAP, celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Congratulations on half a century in business!

GAP also runs the following brands: GAP label; Banana Republic; Old Navy; Athleta; Intermix.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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