The Gap clothing store in downtown San Luis Obispo is closing — and its last day will be Jan. 28.
Signs posted on the store window in the Downtown Centre plaza announced the pending closure and sales of 20 percent to 50 percent off.
In 2017, Gap announced it would close about 200 poorly performing stores nationwide over a three-year window, and has dropped from 1,100 stores worldwide to 775. But in November, the company announced it would close hundreds of more underperforming stores.
It’s unclear what specifically led to the decision to close the downtown SLO location at 879 Higuera St.
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The store manager referred media inquiries to the corporate office, and Gap didn’t respond to The Tribune’s email requests for comment on Friday.
But multiple shoppers Friday called the announcement sad, while also noting that other stores in the downtown area seem to be closing at a higher rate than usual.
“It seems like a lot of businesses are struggling,” said Juanita Thompson of Atascadero. “It’s really sad to me. This upsets me.”
Other downtown stores that have closed recently include Kevin Main Jewelry and Design, Naked Fish sushi restaurant and Ann’s Contemporary Clothing. Marshalls Jewelers also will be closing in January, the store announced this week.
Thompson said that she often doesn’t shop in downtown SLO because she finds it difficult to park, choosing instead to shop online. On Friday, she was returning an item she bought online, while checking out in-store deals.
Shopper Bela Gardantalvi said he bought $69 Gap pajamas for $42 as a Christmas gift for a family member.
Gardantalvi said he was disappointed that not as many people were out shopping Friday afternoon as he would think around the holidays — and believes that’s likely attributable to online shopping.
“It’s unfortunate,” Gardantalvi said. “I was hoping to see more people out. I feel like the whole Christmas spirit is missing. It used to be busier shopping this time of year.”
Megan Taylor, a nursing student at Cuesta who perused the Gap store Friday, said the she is curious to see what will replace Gap.
“I hope it will be a local store or a boutique,” Taylor said. “I hope it’s not another box store.”
Nick Wilson: 805-781-7922, @NickWilsonTrib