High street retailer Gap is unable to give a relaunch date for its two most popular websites, Gap.com and Oldnavy.com. Both sites have been down for two weeks, although preview sites have been made available some of the time.
The company took the sites offline along with its Banana Republic site on 24 August promising improvements for online shoppers. Only the Banana Republic site has reopened.
With no dates for relaunch it raises serious questions over the ability of the retailer to upgrade its site without losing revenue. The two sites contributed $209m in sales in the first half of the year, about three per cent of the group's total.
Ian Fogg, broadband analyst at Jupiter Research Europe, said: "Broadband users are used to their internet connection being always on, so any retailer being unavailable will be unexpected to them."
Mark Aldridge, European director at web testing and monitoring company Empirix, added: "Having a website down for long periods can have an enormous impact not only in financial terms, but on the brand.
"Companies need to be particularly diligent when their site enables personal financial transactions. When money is involved, customers want absolute confidence in the site.
"If history is anything to go by, I suspect that this extended shutdown will affect Gap's customer loyalty, reputation and bottom line."
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