Gap Canada gets into the loyalty game

We already know that at least one prominent consumer is no longer a fan, but the Gap is attempting to turn at least some of its customers into brand loyalists with a new rewards program.

Gap Canada this week unveiled “One Membership. Four Brands,” a new program that enables members to earn points, redeem rewards and enjoy member benefits across its four retail brands: Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta.

While Gap Canada did previously have a rewards program in some of its stores in the past, a Gap spokesperson said that “One Membership. Four Brands” represents the fashion retailer’s first nation-wide, full value proposition loyalty program for customers across all four of its banners.

The Canadian launch of “One Membership. Four Brands,” which is similar to a rewards program launched in the U.S. and Puerto Rico in 2020, comes after a successful one-year pilot program that launched in Toronto before being rolled out across the country. According to the company spokesperson, enrolment rates for the program were double what the company had expected.

The free program consists of three tiers linked to customers’ annual spend:

  • The Core program for customers who spend up to $499 a year includes bonus points for shopping across the Gap family of brands; a birthday bonus; and free shipping on orders of $50 or more;
  • The Enthusiast program, for those who spend between $500 and $999 includes the same benefits as the Core program, complemented by early access to new arrivals and sales and members-only offers; and
  • The Icon program, for people spending more than $1,000 a year, includes free shipping on orders of $35 or more and a feature called Create Your Own Sale Day.

“We believe that our loyalty program will create enduring customer relationships,” said a company spokesperson. “As we convert more customers into lifelong loyalists, we will be able to learn more about them and deliver a more personalized experience across our shopping channels.” 

The program also includes a Do Good component that enables users to donate points to causes driving social impact, which will be matched by Gap up to $1 million across both Canada and the U.S. The company said that it has chosen The Canadian Women’s Foundation as an organization that best supports the company’s values.

The company tested multiple elements to create something capable of generating customer engagement and emotional loyalty.

Gap Canada said that it plans to promote “One Membership. Four Brands” through an email campaign targeting existing customers, as well as those people who joined during the pilot. The four brand websites will also feature messaging promoting the program.

Parent company Gap Inc. is currently in the midst of a restructuring that will see it close 350 stores in North America by the end of fiscal 2023. In its most recent earnings report, the company said that its net sales of $3.86 billion were down 8% from the same period last year, while same store sales were down 10%.

Chris Powell