I was doing some shopping over the weekend and I came upon a store change that quite frankly surprised me.

Over the years there has been tons of change at the Southgate Mall, so much so that we wrote not only one, but two and three versions of a list of stores we all miss from our local shopping center.

Stores also move around the mall. For someone who grew up here and came back, I can't believe how many times I get turned around because old favorites aren't where they used to be.

One of the stores that are in a different location than what I remember is the Gap, so when I wandered down the hall looking for the bathrooms (they moved those too) I forgot that the Gap was in that hallway too, and then I saw this.

Gap Store Southgate Mall
Credit: Ashley, Townsquare Media
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The Gap store in Missoula is closing! Just out of the photo is the companion store, Gap Kids, which was already completely empty. Having shopped at the Gap since I was a teenager, and having friends who worked there, like a rite of passage into adulthood, I was a little bummed. This article from Medium gives a retrospective on the brand including Gap's popularity in the '70s and '80s, but I admit, I felt like I missed the memo somehow. I reached out to Gap Inc. for more information and a spokesperson provided this information.

We continue to thoughtfully analyze our real estate strategy to support the best path forward. In October 2020, Gap Inc. shared plans to close approximately 350 of Gap and Banana Republic Stores by the end of 2023, whith the goal of having a smaller and healthier fleet of stores. The closure of the Gap Southgate store in Missoula, MT is in support of these efforts. The last day of business is June 12. --spokesperson from Gap

So I did miss the memo. The plans have been in place since 2020, which, given what was going on at that time, I can see why I might have missed this. I find it kind of interesting too, given the recent popularity of crop tops and flannel, that Missoula would be losing its Gap.

 

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