Gap to shut all of its stores in the UK

US fashion giant Gap intends to close all its 81 stores in the UK and Ireland and switch to online-only sales.

The firm will shut all its stores in a phased manner between the end of August and the end of September.

The closure programme includes 19 stores that were already scheduled to shut in July, as their leases were expiring.

Gap has not yet confirmed how many of its employees the closures will affect, but says it will shortly start a consultation process with staff.

A Gap spokesman said the decision follows a strategic review of its European business.

It means four of the retailer’s stores will close in Yorkshire – in Sheffield, Doncaster, Castleford and York.

Gap stores to shut in the North West include its outlets in the Manchester Arndale Centre, the Lowry in Salford, Cheshire Oaks and Fleetwood.

Store closure locations across the Midlands will include Talke in Staffordshire, Cannock, Astle Park, NEC Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Lincoln and Mansfield.