Can The Gap sell “premium jeans”?

A recent Retail Wire comment about The Gap pushing into higher price points, through its “1969” branded jeans, retailing for $50-60:

The Gap certainly ought to be in the business of “semi-premium” jeans. Retail prices like those of the 1969 collection aren’t much different from the product made by Seven for All Mankind to be sold at mid-tier stores like Kohl’s. The Gap doesn’t have a niche in the true premium business (price points $100 and higher) but needs something to position itself away from the commoditization approach of its sister company Old Navy.

The bigger question is whether the 1969 brand is compelling enough to command the customer’s attention at $50-60 per pair, and whether there is a perceptible difference in quality, fit and finish compared to The Gap’s core product. The Gap might consider adding brands outside its stable of private labels if it really wants to take a step away from the past.

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