Gap Inc. (GPS) - Get Report, which owns Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic, has a new partner: musician and entrepreneur Kanye West. The retailer is partnering with West on a 10-year deal with Yeezy, West’s fashion company. A new line called Yeezy Gap will be introduced in 2021.
Gap Inc. shares surged Friday after the partnership announcement. They were marked 35.2% higher in early trading Friday to change hands at $13.77 each.
“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,,” said Gap's global head of branding Mark Breitbard.
Gap Inc. has seen sales drop in recent years and is hoping for a revival. According to The New York Times, West has long been a fan of the retailer, and said in a 2015 interview that he would “like to be the Steve Jobs of the Gap." West worked at a Gap store as a teenager in Chicago.
The partnership appears to be good news, then, for both West and Gap Inc.
The retailer has been hit hard by the pandemic, reporting in early June that its net sales fell to $2.11 billion from $3.71 billion a year ago. It also stopped paying rent on its stores.
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