The Meadowbrook Mall will be losing a major store in the new year. Gap, Inc. has announced that it will be closing the Bridgeport Gap, GapKids, and BabyGap location as of January 26.

Gap, an international specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products, has been a longtime staple at the mall, which is owned by the Cafaro Company.

“It is sad when any long time merchant is forced to close,” said Joe Bell, director of corporate communications for Cafaro Co., in an email sent to The Clarksburg Post. “While Gap has had its fans over the years, it has had a tough time competing with other fashion retailers lately.”

As consumer shopping habits continue to shift toward e-commerce, Gap retail stores have struggled to compete in the crowded mid-tier apparel market. In June, Gap, Inc. announced that it planned to close 175 of its 675 stores in North America.

Cafaro Co. has been actively pursuing other retailers to fill the current Gap space. “Since it became apparent that Gap was struggling, our real estate specialists have been discussing the store space with a variety of other retailers,” said Bell.

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While Gap retails stores have experienced a significant drop in sales, the Gap, Inc.-owned Old Navy brand has thrived in recent years. Bell stated that they had not received any negative reports on Gap’s affiliated stores.

The Clarksburg Post has reached out to Gap, Inc. for comment.

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