Gap Inc. opens ‘laboratory’ stores across its major brands

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture
ribbon cutting gap
Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap Inc. cuts the ribbon on four new test stores in San Francisco with city supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Gap Inc. has opened four stores in a row at its newly remodeled, 544,813-sq.-ft. global hub on Folsom Street in San Francisco.

Described as “laboratory” stores, the new Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta outposts are designed to enable the brands to test product and technology innovations. Together, the spaces add nearly 18,000 sq. ft. of fashion retail to the city’s buzzy East Cut neighborhood.

The new stores are part of Gap's two-year renovation of its headquarters, which now boasts 15 floors of creative office space, a rooftop cafeteria and outdoor dining terrace overlooking the Bay, a coffee bar and lounge in the lobby.

In addition, the ground floor features a “co-lab” workspace, or “maker studio” where visitors can watch Gap creative teams at work.

“Our customers are central to every business decision we make, and we’re excited to welcome our hometown community and visitors alike to experience our four iconic brands inside our redesigned San Francisco hub,” said Sonia Syngal, CEO, Gap Inc. “This reimagined space invites customers into the heart of our company, where our artists and designers, data scientists and technologists, sourcing and logistics experts, customer evangelists, and futurists will test new store technologies, consumer experiences and product innovations.”