It’s good to be optimistic, and the vaccines are helping to boost the hopes of a weary country.
Gap stores CEO Sonia Syngal is among the more hopeful of the population ready to emerge from the pandemic haze, predicting a rebound in sales in the second half of this year.
A key reason is that people will want to buy new clothes after not really needing them for the past 12 months because of layoffs or work-from-home directives. They will be eager to show off a new look – and Syngal has a fitting definition.
“We’re quite optimistic,” Syngal said in a Wall Street Journal interview. “We do think there’s going to be this peacocking effect that happens, as people emerge from Covid.”
People want to peacock.
On Thursday, the company said it believes net sales would increase by a mid- to high-teens percentage rate in 2021, rallying strongly late in the year.
Syngal hopes for consistent overall numbers from the companies she oversees. Propped up by online holiday sales, Old Navy and Athleta numbers in the quarter ending Jan. 30 were up while the Gap and Banana Republic brands reported continued declines.
Gap appointed Syngal as chief executive in March 2020, and the former CEO of Old Navy planned to grow Gap Inc. by investing in the firm’s 60 million-person customer base.
But COVID-19 happened, and customers stayed home and went online instead.
As part of the anticipated rebound, Syngal said there would be year-over-year savings given the absence of costs spent on making stores “safer” during the pandemic.
The firm reported online sales increased to 45% of total sales in 2020, up from 25% the year prior.