March 2, 2019,

Predictions of the future abound and often are doom and gloom. That spurs people’s interests.

Fortunately most of the predictions are wrong.

Remember all of the frightening predictions about the year 2000, dubbed Y2K and how the computers would go haywire because the last two digits of the year must become four?

The computers survived just fine.

So did we.

Wonderful it is when predictions of the future are truly ground breaking and positive.

Like predicting that one day there would be space travel.

Woman in the Moon is a science fiction silent film that premiered 15 October 1929 at the UFA-Palast am Zoo cinema in Berlin to an audience of 2,000. article, UFA photo credit

It is often considered to be one of the first “serious” science fiction films.

It was written and directed by Fritz Lang, based on the novel The Rocket to the Moon by his collaborator Thea von Harbou, his wife at the time. It was released in the US as By Rocket to the Moon and in the UK as Woman in the Moon.

The basics of rocket travel were presented to a mass audience for the first time by this film, including the use of a multi-stage rocket. The film was shot between October 1928 and June 1929 at the UFA studios in Neubabelsberg near Berlin.

Impressive prediction.

We are glad that another negative prediction of gloom and doom was wrong.

For some time there has been a concern that brick and mortar retailers would go out of business unless they presented most or all of their products online.

That prediction appeared to come true as major retailers like Sears, Toy R Us, Montgomery Ward and others struggled or went out of business.

Then this recent news came as well. On March 1, 2019, Fox News reported, “The ‘retail apocalypse’ is alive and well this week with major chains such as Gap, JCPenney, Victoria’s Secret and Foot Locker all announcing massive closures, totaling the death of more than 465 stores over the last 48 hours.”

Malls across America were struggling to stay profitable as well.

Good news appears to weaving its way back into the fashion and fabric market.

In May of 2018 Forbes Magazine shared, “For some time now, it has been said that brick and mortar businesses are slowly dying and that the future rests in the hands of online shopping. However, recent studies conducted with both millennials and Generation Z beauty consumers show that this clearly isn’t the case. Rather than being a thing of the past, brick and mortar stores have an increasingly prominent place in their world of shopping, especially for beauty. The key to success is adapting to the latest technology and presenting a more personalized experience for the shopper.”

It appears that in some cases, retailers needed to alter and innovate to adjust to their shopper’s needs rather than close up shop.

For example, according to a survey conducted by Poshly in collaboration with the Bay Area Beauty Association, 94% of millennials purchase makeup, with 65% of them making their purchase direct from their smartphone.

Interestingly, a surprisingly 72% would still prefer to make their purchase in a store.

This makes perfect sense.

What are part of the reasons why women go shopping at retail stores? It is for the shopping experience. Hang out with a loved one or a friend and make a day of it by dressing up, something not needed when shopping online, and dining out, having coffee at side walk cafes and socializing. article, Evonics photo credit

That is all part of the brick and mortar shopping experience.

One retailer who appears to be soaring above the rest is Old Navy.

Old Navy is an American clothing and accessories retailing company owned by American multinational corporation Gap Inc.

It has corporate operations in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. The largest of the Old Navy stores are its flagship stores, located in New York City, Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and Mexico City.

The Old Navy 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.

On February 28, 2019, Gap Inc., announced that Old Navy and Gap Inc. would split up into two separate companies, making Old Navy an independent company from Gap Inc.

Due to their profitability, that is a great thing.

Fortune Magazine reported on that historic occurrence, “Gap is sending Old Navy, its successful sibling, out on its own. Gap Inc. (gps, +25.39%) on Thursday said it was spinning off its Old Navy clothing chain, a business that generates about 45% of company sales and that has handily outperformed its two other major brands, The Gap and Banana Republic. Shares rose 19% on the news.”

Very impressive.

Old Navy generates about $8 billion a year, large enough to make it a Fortune 500 company.

The company is headed by a very successful woman. article, Old Navy photo credit

Ms. Sonia Syngal is president and CEO of Old Navy. She has responsibility for leading the new Fortune 500 Company across all geographies and channels with a team of 57,000 employees.

Previously she was Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Product Operations, responsible for managing Gap Inc.’s global supply chain and leading the product-to-market model in support of Gap Inc.’s five brands, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix.

Our associate team at featured an article on Ms. Syngal and the success of Old Navy in the millennial marketplace.

San Francisco’s Gap, Old Navy, Tremendous Place To Work article, Old Navy Shopping Guide photo credit

The talented executive had a long career in Fortune 500 product companies, including 10 years at Sun Microsystems where she led manufacturing operations, logistics and supply chain management during a time of rapid growth, and 6 years at Ford Motor Company where she held roles in product design, quality and manufacturing engineering.

She is member of the Boys & Girls Club of America’s Board of Governors and serves on the Gap Inc. Foundation Board. She is a guest lecturer at Stanford University.

Old Navy is a new brick and mortar front-runner to keep an eye on.

The female plus-size market is estimated at over $20 billion and is growing at a higher rate than the overall apparel market.

Old Navy is expected to launch its online exclusive plus-size collection in 75 select stores.

Adaptation and innovative appears to be the characteristics of the successful brick and mortar retailers.

Predictions of their demise was premature. article, mentatdgt photo credit

For those of us who enjoy the entirety of the female shopping experience at retail stores, we’re extremely happy those futuristic voyeurs missed the mark.

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