Gap to close all UK, Ireland stores; shifts business online

LONDON (AP) — American clothing retailer Gap announced that it will close all of its 81 stores in the U.K. and Ireland by the end of 2021. It will shift its business to exclusively online. The announcement late Wednesday comes following a strategic review that sought more cost-effective solutions for its presence in Europe. The retailer, emblematic of the quintessential American “T-shirt-and-jeans” look, is the latest casualty of the pandemic in the UK. Last year, it experienced one of the world’s deepest recessions. While eased up restrictions have helped, the British economy still remained smaller in June than before the pandemic.

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