Old Navy

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Old Navy
Industry Retail
Founded 1994; 22 years ago (1994)
Headquarters San Francisco
Number of locations
Key people
Stefan Larsson (President)
Products Clothing
Parent Gap Inc.
Website OldNavy.com

Old Navy is a popular American clothing and accessories retailer owned by American multinational corporation Gap Inc.[1] It has corporate operations in San Francisco and San Bruno, California. The largest of the Old Navy stores are its flagship stores, located in New York City, the Mall of America, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco.


Under the direction of Millard Drexler, Gap decade, the company would see the addition of divisions babyGap, Banana Republic, and GapKids. In the early 1990s, Target Corporation looked to establish a new division, branded as a less expensive version of Gap;[2] in 1993, Drexler responded by opening Gap Warehouse in existing Gap outlet locations.[3] The subsequent year, the Gap Warehouse division was renamed Old Navy in order to establish a separate image from its parent.[2] The first Old Navy locations were opened in the northern California towns of Colma, San Leandro and Pittsburg.[4] The division grew quickly; in 1997, it became the first retailer to pass $1 billion in its first four years in business, and opened 500 stores by 2000. In 2001, Old Navy began its international expansion with the opening of 12 stores in Ontario, Canada.[2]

The third Old Navy logo, used from 2005 through 2009.

In 2005, Old Navy's then-president Dawn Robertson looked to address the competition she saw in Hollister Co. and American Eagle Outfitters by rebranding the division with a "high fashion feel". In addition to a new logo, several locations were built or remodeled to reflect the "New Old Navy.";[5] one such location in St. Petersburg, Florida cost roughly $5 million to develop. Unlike the traditional industrial warehouse style most Old Navy locations possess, the new stores were boutique in nature, featuring green building materials, rock gardens, large murals and posters, as well as many mirrored and silver accents. Also, advertisements began to be created in-house, and substituted the original kitschy and humorous feel for a high fashion and feminine directive.[6] These stores proved to be a disappointing investment and Robertson was asked to leave the company.

In 2011, Old Navy began a second rebranding to emphasize a family-oriented environment, known as Project ONE. It targets Old Navy's target customer (the fictional "Jenny", a married mother of at least one child) and features better lighting, vibrant colors, layouts that make shopping easier, quick-change stations, and a more efficient cash wrap design. By July 12, one third of the company's North American locations had adopted the redesign.[7]

In 2012, after several years of Old Navy losing sales to rival retailer H&M, Gap Inc. hired away H&M executive Stefan Larsson to run its Old Navy division. Larsson instituted a number of changes, including hiring designers away from Coach, Nike, Reebok, and North Face to design exclusive Old Navy clothing. By 2015, Old Navy's yearly sales had reached $6 billion per year in the United States, almost equaling those of Gap's Gap and Banana Republic divisions combined. [8]


An Old Navy neon sign logo in Queens, New York.
The Old Navy flagship store in the Philippines was opened on March 22, 2014, located at Bonifacio Global City.

Flagship stores also have "collection" business clothes for women, plus size and maternity sections. As of summer 2007, however, plus-size clothing is only available online and has been pulled from all stores. Previously, Old Navy attempted to launch a bath and body line, called ONbody (Obsessively Natural).[9]


  • In 2013, Gap Inc. ranked 5th among specialty retailers in the list of World's Most Admired.[10]
  • Members of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) [11]


In December of 2015, Old Navy released a series of T-shirts for toddlers with the words "Young Aspiring Artist" on it, but with "artist" crossed out and replaced with either "astronaut" or "president". The T-shirt's message angered artists and art enthusiasts,[12] which created the hashtag #ArtIsACareerToo on Twitter.[13]

An Old Navy representative has stated that the stores will be pulling the shirts from its shelves as a result of the controversy.

"At Old Navy we take our responsibility to our customers seriously. We would never intentionally offend anyone, and we are sorry if that has been the case. Our toddler tees come in a variety of designs including tees that feature ballerinas, unicorns, trucks and dinosaurs and include phrases like, “Free Spirit.” They are meant to appeal to a wide range of aspirations. With this particular tee, as a result of customer feedback, we have decided to discontinue the design and will work to remove the item from our stores."

The shirts are no longer available on the English website. However, the shirts are still available to buy on the official Chinese website.[14]


  1. ^ "Old Navy". Gapinc.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "History of Old Navy, Inc. – FundingUniverse". Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "JSOnline.com News Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. March 25, 1998. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Women's & Men's Clothes: Plus Size, Maternity, Baby & Kids' Clothing". Old Navy. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Business: Old Navy trying new look". Sptimes.com. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Old Navy May Still Be at Sea". Businessweek. November 25, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ Holmes, Elizabeth (November 18, 2009). "Old Navy's Renewed Zest Is Likely to Lift Gap - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (May 17, 2015). "Old Navy Thrives After a Style-Conscious Rebirth". New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2015. 
  9. ^ "ON Body". Old Navy. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "2013 awards". 
  11. ^ "BICEP homepage". 
  12. ^ "People on Twitter are lashing out over these discouraging kids shirts from Old Navy". 
  13. ^ "#ArtIsACareerToo on Twitter.com". 
  14. ^ "Old Navy Chinese website". 

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