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First Look: Banana Republic bets on downtown San Francisco with new flagship

Banana Republic
Banana Republic, Union Square, San Francisco

Banana Republic has unveiled a slimmed-down flagship in its hometown.

The retailer, a division of Gap Inc., opened a 3.500-sq.-ft. flagship in the heart of the Union Square district in downtown San Francisco. The opening comes as many retailers, including Nordstrom and Anthropologie, have closed stores in the downtown area amid declining customer traffic and reports of crime.

Located at 152 Geary Street, the new Banana Republic replaces the brand’s previous flagship on Grant Avenue, which closed in June.  (The retailer also has a location on Folsom St.)  Along with ready-to-wear and accessories,  the two-floor Union Square store features an assortment of the newly launched BR Home collection, including seating, dining furniture and a lighting installation designed to complement the apparel offerings.  In September, Banana Republic expanded BR Home to include furniture, lighting and home décor.

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Banana Republic
Inside Banana Republic's new store

“Our Banana Republic Geary Street store is our brand’s pinnacle flagship, showcasing our continued transformation in our historic hometown,” said Sandra Stangl, Banana Republic president and CEO. “We’re excited to invite our customers to come home and experience the world of Banana Republic.”

Citing the recent openings of BR Home pop-ups in New York City and LA, Stangl said Banana Republic is continuing to expand its store footprints, “discovering what works, thinking about interesting and innovative ways to reach our customers, and imagining what we may do next."

“Our new flagship embodies exceptional quality, timeless design, and versatile styling that supports our consumer’s journey for a life well lived by offering them curated products that are an integral part of their daily lives, representing a new way to outfit themselves for the world," Stangl added.

For its second quarter, ended July 29, Gap reported net sales of $3.55 billion, down 8% year-over-year. Banana Republic’s net sales fell 11% to $480 million, down 11% year-over-year. Comparable sales declined 8%.

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