This has been buzzing for weeks, but according to a NASDAQ.com article released yesterday, Gap has purchased Intermix for $130 million US. Intermix, which has one location in Canada (Toronto’s Bloor Street, just east of Avenue Road), sells higher end clothing by brands such as Herve Leger, Joie, Mulberry and Diane von Furstenberg. Different Intermix stores may carry different brands and not all brands available in stores are available online (and vice versa).
The Intermix store at Bloor and Avenue Road in Toronto
Currently, Gap Inc. runs an online store in the United States, Piperlime, which features middle to upper-mid/”entry level lux” brands such as Trina Turk and Rebecca Taylor. In addition, a small handful of brands are available at both stores. J Brand comes to mind. One has to wonder if Piperlime will still exist or whether Piperlime is more or less going to become the Old Navy (lower end) of Gap Inc.’s multi-brand shops? It has, after all, has been doing relatively well, so hopefully, they won’t see the store as being redundant. I also hope that this acquisition isn’t going to cheapen Intermix if it “merges” with Piperlime. And can Gap handle another brand? After all, they are already marketing four other brands, including Athleta, the mostly online-only competitor to Lululemon.
So what does this mean? According to the report, Gap is planning on expanding locations internationally. The only international location right now is, as noted above, on Bloor Street in Toronto. The store isn’t very big (probably because of floor space and area rent), so a second location in the city (Yorkdale, perhaps? Probably the most logical location, depending on space. If not, then Sherway Gardens) would be nice. I can also see Intermix in Calgary and on Robson Street in Vancouver if we are talking about Canadian locations. More collaborations, especially with Gap and Banana Republic could be possible, too (remember the Trina Turk collection at Banana Republic over the summer of 2012?). And online-wise, since one can use one shopping cart for all available Gap brands, does that mean that we could be buying Missoni together with our Hampton capris and PJ bottoms from Old Navy? Or will they keep it separate? After all, mixing higher and lower end items is always something that magazines like to feature as a trend. Now that Gap is following the trend from a corporate end, it is definitely something interesting to watch.