Practitioners holding supply chain jobs at fashion retail giant Gap are about to engage in a huge process of supplier renegotiation. It follows the company’s decision to spin-off one of its most prominent subsidiaries, Old Navy, as a separate, publicly-traded firm.

The move, expected to be of mutual benefit to both companies, will require the supply chain to split. CEO, Art Peck, told Supply Chain Dive: “We’re certainly doing the work to the back-end from a supply chain standpoint … there has been an accelerating divergence between the businesses with the path for Old Navy.” Peck went on to say he was confident that the move would “unlock significant value creation potential” but conceded that there were questions that couldn’t be answered at present.

Old Navy has performed well in recent years, outgrowing the other brands in the Gap franchise. The remaining brands – Gap, Hill City, Intermix, Banana Republic and Athleta, will be rebranded as NewCo. The academic, Simon Croom, director of the Master’s Degree in Supply Chain Management at the University of San Diego, explained that splitting the supply chain operations ‘made sense’ as the two brands had two distinct supply chain environments, and were trying to manage them with a single approach.

Meanwhile, Shay Scott, Executive Director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, warned that, although both can look forward to excellent supplier relationships, there will be much change in these chains involving cancellation clauses and even severed relationships due to the move. One thing is certain – professionals at Gap and Old Navy working in supply chain jobs, from permanent staff to supply chain interims, have a huge task ahead of them.

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