Desperate times call for desperate measures.
“To not be considering Amazon and others would be, in my view, delusional,” Art Peck, chief executive officer, said during Gap’s annual shareholders meeting Tuesday. “We are always considering all of the opportunities beyond our traditional mix of channels and stores and looking at all of those, and Amazon is certainly one.”
But according to Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, such a move could be one of the company’s last.
“The most idiotic thing Gap could do is sell its products on Amazon,” Mulpuru declared on Twitter Wednesday.
“To not acknowledge that [Amazon will account for one-third of all e-commerce in the U.S. in 2016] and be thinking about ‘What does that mean for our strategy?’ would be to have our head in the sand. And we do not have our head in the sand,” Peck added.
Investors would be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Sales fell 3 percent at Gap, 11 percent at Banana Republic and 6 percent at Old Navy during the first quarter. Peck defended this poor performance by relating it to what happened in retail at large.
“If you look at the first quarter, at the volatility of traffic, there are myriad excuses getting talked about by pundits, whether it’s the weather (always the weather card), an election year, or this, that and the other thing, what is undeniable is an accelerating pace of change around how customers are engaging brands, how customers are shopping, where they go for information, how they look to explain their affiliation with brands,” he opined, noting, “If we don’t engage our customers where they are, they will engage someone else at the end of the day.”