Breaking up is hard to do, but it looks like Old Navy is coming out on top. The retailer just announced it would be opening a whopping 800 new stores across the country, which is excellent news for those of us who want to affordably—and adorably—update our fall wardrobes.
Sonia Syngal, CEO of Old Navy, revealed the announcement at an investor conference on Thursday, September 12, according to CNN. "We'll almost double our fleet to 2,000 stores in North America, predominantly in under-served small markets," Syngal said. The news outlet reports there were 1,140 Old Navy stores open at the end of February this year.
February was also the month Old Navy announced it would be splitting off from Gap and become its own public company in early 2020. At the time, CNN reported the reason for the split was to let Old Navy "expand on its own," as it has grown to an impressive $8 billion in annual sales since opening in 1994. "What separation does for us is allows us to have the focus that we need to deliver with confidence this strategy which we know is the right one," Syngal said in the spring, according to Reuters. Gap will remain in the same company as Banana Republic and Athleta, among other retailers.
So, when can you expect to see a (new) Old Navy in your neighborhood? Well, that's where it gets a little tricky. CNN notes the company plans on opening around 75 stores per year and will avoid "struggling malls." Old Navy hasn't revealed precisely where these new shops will be, or exactly when they'll be opening, so we'll just have to wait and see.
In recent years, brick-and mortar-stores have been affected by bankruptcies and closures thanks to the Amazon effect, which is the notion that electronic commerce is taking over retail sales, according to Forbes. But Old Navy appears to not only be surviving, but also thriving in the current market. And with such a significant expansion, Syngal expects the company to boost its annual sales to a staggering $10 billion. "We're an $8 billion start-up," she said. "The sky's the limit."