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09/07/2021

Banana Republic repositions with reinvented stores, product, experiences

Banana Republic’s repositioning is reflected in its fall campaign, called “The New Look.”
Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Banana Republic is putting an updated spin on its safari-infused past to introduce a new brand identity and positioning as it looks to reinvent itself “for today's modern world.” Inspired by its roots, the long-struggling, 43-year-old brand, a division of Gap Inc., said it is reimagining every detail of the customer experience in the form of “democratic, approachable, and inclusive luxury.” From immersive, in-store and online product stories to the updated quality of product designs and fabrics, customers will see elevated experiences and details across all touchpoints, according to the retailer.

“We started with a very clear vision of what this iconic American company can be and what we need to do in terms of our product quality and design, packaging and service, our digital experiences, and experiences in our stores to bring this vision to life in a way that excites culture and moves our business," stated Sandra Stangl, brand president and CEO of Banana Republic. 

The retailer’s fall 2021 campaign, called “The New Look,” is focused on leather and suede, reworked in the form of the brand’s iconic photojournalist vest and cargo pants, modernized leather jumpsuits, and suede shorts-and-blazer separates. In addition to elevating the quality of its collections, Banana Republic is upgrading its store fleet across the country, “thinking holistically about customer experiences from hospitality and styling services to harmonious store design and elevated merchandising.”

As part of the repositioning, the retailer will launch on Sept. 28 an “Imagined Worlds” campaign reflecting Banana Republic as it was originally conceived — a fictitious, faraway, and unknown place to be explore. The New Look and Imagined Worlds campaigns will run across digital, social and media channels.

The retailer is also reimagining its digital platforms to be an engaging experience featuring inspirational imagery, video, and music that immerses customers into “the new world of Banana Republic.”

The Banana Republic repositioning comes as the brand has been challenged with sagging sales. In fall 2020, parent company Gap Inc. that it planned to trim the Banana Republic store fleet, closing some 130 locations by early 2024. In the first quarter of the company’s current fiscal year, Banana Republic’s comparable sales fell 4% year-over-year and were down 22% versus 2019. In the second quarter, they were down 5% versus 2019.

[Read More: Gap posts highest Q2 net sales in 10-plus years]