What’s so good about Old Navy?

Retail Wire panelists recently discussed operating improvements at Old Navy, which is critical to Gap’s overall turnaround. I can think of a few factors that have led to Old Navy’s revival in the past year, and many of them represent the chain returning to its roots:

1. A focus on value-priced apparel…never more important than in the current economic downturn.

2. A bigger emphasis on key-item merchandising…compelling sale prices on new items, not just staples like denim, have been a big factor.

3. Clever marketing…the “mannequin” campaign is attention-getting, just slightly edgy, fun and product-focused.

There seems to be a crisper, more focused assortment in the stores as well…all of these factors sound like “Retail 101” but good, basic execution can’t be taken for granted.

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