• Retail Dive

Banana Republic, Athleta launch BOPIS services

Dive Brief:
  • Gap Inc. announced on Monday that its Banana Republic and Athleta brands are launching buy online, pick up in-store services, according to a company blog post.

  • Customers can pick up items within five days of purchase, and order updates will be sent by email or text, per the announcement.

  • During the service's pilot, the company reported receiving add-on sales when customers picked up their orders.

Dive Insight:

Athleta and Banana Republic are playing catch up with Old Navy, which has offered BOPIS services to customers since the summer of 2018.

Improving logistics under Gap Inc. comes as the company prepares to spin off its Old Navy brand to form its own company, while keeping the Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and its other specialty apparel brands under the same umbrella.

It's also a smart business tactic as customers increasingly utilize the service at other businesses, with both Target and Walmart leading the way and retailers reporting it as an important element in their omnichannel strategy. This past spring, teen retailer Rue21 launched the capability in over 700 stores and in September, discount retailer Stein Mart launched it at all of its locations.

A recent study by the National Retail Federation revealed that 64% of shoppers engage with BOPIS to avoid shipping costs, while 37% use it to get goods faster and 36% pick the option for discounts or promotional offers. The service is also proving to be beneficial to retailers, with 85% of shoppers revealing that they make additional in-store purchases while visiting stores to pick up their orders.

"In a competitive retail environment, it's more important than ever to meet the customers wherever and however they like to shop," Steve Peters, senior vice president of Banana Republic global stores, said in a statement.

The timing of the Gap Inc. announcement may prove crucial to its performance during the holiday season. Last year, shoppers increasingly turned to the capability as a means to manage stress, streamline orders and avoid long lines.

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