In case you’ve not yet been touched personally by the multimedia publicity blitz, we should let you know that Gap is celebrating its fortieth anniversary with a new line of jeans that head designer Patrick Robinson describes as “rengineered…cool, sexy, and relevant for right now.” However, as double-digit decreases in comparable store sales have become the norm at Gap Inc., can the investor community be convinced that the company is a smart buy? Free jeans can’t hurt. On Friday, a day after announcing second-quarter earnings, Gap outfitted 1,200 New York Stock Exchange Traders in its new 1969 Premium Jeans. “The fact that we’re dressing the New York Stock Exchange in jeans for the first time in history really speaks to the role that Gap still plays in our culture today,” said Marka Hansen, president of Gap brand North America. We smell a tautology there, but the plan seems to have worked, at least in the short term. When members of Gap’s founding Fisher family rang the closing bell on Friday, Gap stock had reached $19.48 per share, its highest price since last September.
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