- Gap Inc. continues to unwind some of the initiatives taken by former CEO Art Peck before his departure over a year ago, this time selling Janie and Jack to brand investment platform Go Global Retail for an undisclosed amount.
- Go Global will take over the children's brand's e-commerce and more than 115 U.S. stores, according to a press release. The sale to Go Global and investment partners Axar Capital Management, MidCap Financial, FB Flurry and Ven Bridge, Ltd. is expected to close April 2.
- Gap Inc. bought the two decade-old brand, which offers sizes from newborn through tween, in 2019 for $35 million during parent company Gymboree's bankruptcy. Janie and Jack will continue to be based in San Francisco, Go Global said.
Art Peck saw the acquisition of Janie and Jack as a good deal, bought on the cheap with plenty of potential to help grow what was then supposed to be a standalone Gap company after a spinoff of Old Navy.
"We bought it for nothing," Peck told analysts in 2019. "[They've got] clean stores, they're under-expressed in outlet ... there's significant and profitable opportunity in front of us with Janie & Jack."
Due to uncharacteristic but, at the time, elongated struggles at Old Navy that made investors nervous, the spinoff never happened. Peck left weeks before the company finally abandoned the plan, and since then new management has been dismantling some of his teams and his handiwork. Chief Marketing Officer Alegra O'Hare left after less than a year, and Gap brand chief Neil Fiske left when the separation plan was nixed.
Gap Inc. remains in turmoil, as the spinoff debacle was followed by a pandemic that continues to roil business, especially apparel retail. But Go Global sees the same potential at Janie and Jake that Peck talked about. Plans are centered on growth, focusing on e-commerce and new markets in the U.K., Europe and Asia. Go Global has been down this road before. The company bought ModCloth a year ago, about two years after the indie favorite was acquired by Walmart.
"Our plan is to expand the company's digital capabilities and accelerate online growth globally," Go Global Founder and Managing Partner Jeff Streader said in a statement.
The brand is sticking with Shelly Walsh, who is general manager, and spent six years at Gap Inc. before jumping to Janie and Jack's previous parent company, Gymboree Group, in 2013. The Children's Place acquired Gymboree's other assets, its namesake brand and Crazy 8, for $76 million, also during its bankruptcy.