Gap to sell stores in France, Italy to cut costs in Europe

Gap Inc (GPS.N) is in talks with its partners to sell its stores in Italy and France, the U.S. apparel chain said on Wednesday, as it looks to limit its presence to online in Europe and save costs.

The retailer is also planning to shut all Gap Specialty and Gap Outlet stores in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland by the end of September. Shares of the company rose about 3% in afternoon trading.

The owner of Old Navy brand said it was in discussions with Hermione People and Brands, the retail branch of FIB Group, to take over its stores in France, while an unnamed partner is in talks to buy its Italian stores.

The move comes as Gap competes with apparel brands like Zara and H&M for market share. The coronavirus pandemic has compounded troubles by stifling sales at brick-and-mortar stores across the globe.