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Old Navy

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  • Pages: 6
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  • Category: Brand

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            Old Navy is one of four brands offered by Gap, Inc.   Gap, Inc. also sells clothes and accessories through three other affiliates:  Gap, Piperlime, and Banana Republic.  Each brand within Gap, Inc. identifies a different target market.  The Gap brand sells iconic clothing at mid to upper level prices.  The Gap stores are designed to attract the fashion conscious teenager and young adult who can spend a little extra money on top fashions.  Piperlime sells fashionable shoes online that compliment the clothes sold in their stores.  Banana Republic is a top of the line fashion store that sells top brand clothing at top prices.  Old Navy allows Gap, Inc to sell fashionable clothing at affordable prices to the average American family.

            In contrast to Banana Republic who sells clothing primarily to upper-middle class women, and Gap who sells clothing to upper-middle class teenagers, Old Navy sells clothes for the entire family.  Each Old Navy store mimics that of a small department store, selling clothing for males and females, infants through adults.  The clothing that Old Navy sells is stylish, yet affordable.  Old Navy is a one stop shop for the typical American family to stock up on clothing.  Old Navy’s motto is “Great Fashion, Great Prices” (Gap, Inc, 2007).

            Old Navy competes with stores like Target and Wal-Mart.  All three of these stores offer clothing for the entire family at affordable prices.  However, Old Navy attempts to stock clothing that is fashionable and more appealing to the average child.  By targeting the child, Old Navy successfully draws the entire family in to their stores to purchase clothing.  The boutique style of Old Navy is also appealing to the fashion conscious child as is its affiliation with the Gap brand.

              Each Old Navy store is set up like a hybrid between a boutique style clothing store and a department store.  Due to the advertising techniques used by Old Navy on commercials and print ads, children are enticed to enter the store.  However, in order to entice the parents to shop at Old Navy, each store features men’s and women’s clothing in the front of the store which can be seen from the street.  Directly as you walk in to an Old Navy store is a display with a fashionable outfit for a woman on sale and identified as the “Item of the Week.”  Viewing this outfit persuades the woman to stop in and check out the other clothing Old Navy has to offer.

            The interior of the Old Navy store has the feel of a warehouse, not at all the feeling of its counterparts, Banana Republic or Gap which tend to feel like boutiques on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.  The laid back atmosphere of Old Navy allows the children and the men to feel more at ease during their shopping experience.  Each Old Navy store is full of color.  Every department is color coded and the children’s section is full of bright lights and colorful displays.  Larger Old Navy stores even have games and photo booths for the children to play in.  Overhead the sound of the latest trends in music can be heard, and definitely assist in getting the family dancing and in a good mood.  A happy and fun atmosphere will entice a family to spend longer perusing the items available for purchase and lead to larger sales.

            The Old Navy Stores are laid out in such a way that the brain employs parallel processing to develop a shopping strategy.  Parallel processing is the ability of the brain to simultaneously process incoming stimuli. This becomes most important in vision, as the brain divides and conquers what it sees. It breaks up a scene into four components: color, motion, form, and depth. These are individually analyzed and then compared to stored memories, which helps the brain identify what you are viewing. The brain then combines all of these into one image that you see and comprehend. This is a continual and seamless operation.  (Wikipedia, 2007).  It is evident that Old Navy utilizes parallel processing when designing its stores by the fact that each department is sectioned off and color coded.  This allows the brain to break up the store into section and develop a strategic plan of which sections to visit and shop from, rather than feeling overwhelmed by all types of clothes in one large area.

            The fashion industry in general uses theories such as persuasive theory and coercion to entice unsuspecting members of society to purchase clothing, many times clothing they don’t even need.  Old Navy, and the Gap brand, is no exception.  Old Navy uses Douglas Roshkoff’s theory of coercion to entice children and adults to purchase clothing from their store.  In his book Coercion: Why We Listen To What “They” Say, Roshkoff argues that we each have our own “theys” — bosses, pundits, authorities, both real and imaginary—whom we allow to shape our lives and manage our futures. Like parents, they can make us feel safe. They do our thinking for us. We don’t have to worry about our next move — it has already been decided on our behalf, and in our best interests. Or so we hope (Roshkoff, 1999).  This statement is truer in the fashion industry than in most other industries.  Not only are we influenced by how we dress by our peers at work, our friends, and our family, but our children also feel this precious to be fashionable and stylish.  Old Navy capitalizes on this need, but attempts to do it at more affordable prices.

            According to Gap, Inc’s website For more than a decade, Old Navy has been famous for bringing customers on-trend apparel and accessories, as well as updated basics, at a surprising value, all in a fun, energizing shopping environment. From Old Navy’s Item of the Week — a special item at a special price each week — to its much-talked-about advertising campaigns, Old Navy is still the place to go for the latest fashion at amazing prices. (Gap, Inc, 2007).  Old Navy utilizes persuasive strategies by offering its featured Item of the week, and one of a kind advertising campaigns.

            In order to reach out to the entire family, Old Navy develops advertising campaigns that target children, teenagers, adults, and families as a whole.  Old Navy has developed commercials in which pretty girls are walking through the streets of the city in short fashionable shirts, to babies all sitting in a row dressed in the fashionable baby outfits Old Navy has to offer.  Currently, Old Navy is pushing an advertising campaign targeting warm trends for the entire family.

            Old Navy ambitiously took on an entire market instead of specifically target a segment like its counterparts, Gap and Banana Republic.  Old Navy markets its clothes to families, children, teenagers, moms, dads, bachelors, and bachelorettes.  Even older men and women could find fashions at affordable prices in an Old Navy store.  Old Navy has something for everyone which has made it America’s family clothing boutique.  Old Navy has done an excellent job at utilizing the persuasion theory to entice people to purchase their clothes.

            Old Navy’s newest persuasion technique is to offer cashmere clothing at affordable prices.  Typically, cashmere sweaters are for upper class shoppers.   However, Old Navy has introduced a line of cashmere sweaters that are more affordable for the average American.  This new line of clothing will definitely persuade more families to shop at Old Navy, especially during the colder months of winter.  In addition to its new cashmere line of sweaters, Old Navy has also introduced a more business style of clothing.  The store has not neglected its signature laid back casual fashions, but has developed a way for business men and women to purchase professional clothing at affordable prices as well.

            Overall Old Navy, has targeted segments of the market not target by Gap, Inc.’s other brands and has brought fashionable clothing at affordable prices to the middle class citizens of American and abroad.  Old Navy needs to continue seeking out fashion forward clothing at affordable prices in order to maintain its market position.  If Old Navy continues to offer comfortable affordable clothing for every member of the family at reasonable prices, it will continue to forge ahead of its competition and enhance the Gap, Inc brand as a whole.  Old Navy is a fun and laid back shopping experience that the whole family can enjoy and afford.


Wikipedia.  (2007, November 19).  Parallel Processing.  Retrieved November 27, 2007 from


Gap, Inc.  (2007). Old Navy.  Retrieved November 27, 2007 from http://www.gapinc.com/public/OurBrands/brands_on.

Roshkoff, Douglas (1999) Coercion: Why We Listen To What “They” Say.  New York, NY

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