Ah yes, The Gap. This is probably one of the most well-known and recognized clothing stores in the world. With so many subsidiaries and a worldwide presence, if you’re looking to join the fashion elite, look no further. If you start a career with this company, the possibilities are truly endless for where you can go.
Let’s talk about this company’s history and culture, but most importantly, how you can fill out a Gap application today!
The History and Culture of The Gap
The Gap is a multinational clothing and accessory retailer that began in 1969 and has their headquarters in San Francisco, California. Beyond the main branch of the company, there are five other divisions that they own and run:
- Banana Republic
- Old Navy
While the Spanish-based Inditex Group has them beat in terms of the “world’s largest apparel retailer,” The Gap is still the largest speciality retailer in the United States.
The company has over 3,076 stores worldwide and employs over 135,000 people. Now that’s what I call opportunity!
The story begins with Donald and Doris Fisher who opened the first Gap location on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco. This first location opened on August 21, 1969 and sold items under the Levi’s and LP records brands. To open the store, the couple raised $63,000. Within the first year, they had made over $2 million.
The second store opened in 1970 in San Jose, California. It was at this time that they company established a corporate headquarters in Burlingame, California with a whopping four employees. In 1973 the company was already running over 25 locations with more stores in the east coast area than ever before.
The first store in the east was located in the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, New Jersey. In 1974 the company started selling their private-label merchandise. In the 90’s the company started to move towards more upscale clothing options under the direction of Millard Drexler. Tensions grew when Drexler didn’t bring sales and he eventually departed to become the CEO of J. Crew.
I can’t help but feel like leaving The Gap was a bad career move, just some commentary there. Multiple CEO’s passed through the company as it sought someone who could bring a strong experience in the apparel industry, but also creativity to help The Gap stand out from the numerous other clothing retailers out there.
In recent years, the company has expanded its influence in China and opened its first stores in Brazil as well. Over the years the company has gone through several logos and trademarks as well, further defining its image with each subsequent change. Currently the logo simply has “Gap” on it, dropping the “the” beforehand.
In regards to the other divisions of the company, the Banana Republic was purchased by The Gap in 1983 and went from a safari-themed clothing retailer to a more upscale representation in the late 80’s. Old Navy was launched in 1994 with a focus on being affordable, but also unique.
Forth & Towne was the company’s fourth concept that sold clothing targeting women over the age of 35.
While this brand didn’t work out, the Piperlime online brand and the athletic women’s brand Athleta joined Intermix, a multi-brand concept when The Gap acquired them in 2012.
The original marketing approach for the company was a focus on the younger generation, emphasis on the generation “gap” that existed at the time.
The current marketing is meant to appeal to a broad range of customers. Banana Republic is more sophisticated while Old Navy is fun and affordable. Each year the main website (www.gap.com) has over 18 million visitors.
Who knows, with the right time and effort in place, you could find yourself running this company one day! It all starts with an application though, so let’s find out how to make this happen!
Competition may breed innovation, but for you it’s simply a means to up your chances of getting hired! If you’re thinking of doing some thing more edgy, be sure to check out Hot Topic for a fun and admittedly crazy work environment that, for the right people, can be the best job you’ll ever have. Be sure to check out PacSun too, they have great career options and unique clothing lines as well. Finally, if you’re looking for more urban style clothing, Citi Trends has you covered!
Gap Application Online
The careers page of The Gap’s website is one of the best I’ve seen. With plenty of resources about the company’s culture, job descriptions, and even tips for applying, there’s plenty of resources here to help you find the perfect job and fill out the online forms with equal confidence.
He are some highlights from the “How to apply” page, along with some input from myself to bolster the advice a bit.
- Before You Apply
The first step in the process is very important. For starters, the age requirement for working at The Gap is 16 years old. Another major requirement is proof that you are eligible to work in the United States. As long as you were born here or you have proper paperwork, this won’t be an issue.
With these preparations in place, you can begin looking for the right position for you using Gap’s job search on the careers page. If you’re looking for entry-level work, you’ll find plenty of options, so you don’t need to worry about having previous experience.
- Preparing and Applying Online
When preparing to fill out your online forms, you should set aside at least an hour to do so. You may blaze right through it, but you may also need time to ensure everything is filled out properly. The Gap does allow you to save and quit if you need to come back, but the best way to do these things is to finish it in one sitting.
You should have this information readily available when you sit down to apply:
- Email Address
- Social Security Number
- Permanent Address and Contact Info
- Education History
- Previous Employment History
With this information in place, find a quiet and secluded space to fill out your forms. Limit distractions and try to finish the whole process in one sitting to avoid losing track of where you left off (even if the website saves it for you).
When you’re finished, be sure to take down the username and password that you used when creating the account, just in case you need to log back in for any reason.
- After You’ve Applied
This is the part where most people just go back to their daily lives. Wrong, this is the time that you continue pushing forward. Some options include stopping into the store to introduce yourself and let the manager know you’ve applied recently. You can also put together a resume and cover letter to give them when you stop by.
At the very least, a follow up phone call is recommended so you can show your interest in the position. Finally, setting up or tweaking a LinkedIn profile can help you look more professional and opens up multiple opportunities for networking.
Starting a career is difficult, but once you’ve found that place in your dream company, the ladder is yours to climb. Remember that this Gap application could be your ticket to a rewarding career with a massive and ever-growing company! Thanks as always for reading and remember to never give up!