Messages on Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta’s sites told shoppers for about three hours on Thursday morning that the retailer is updating each site for a “better shopping experience.”

Four of apparel manufacturer Gap Inc.’s five e-commerce sites were down Thursday morning.

Visitors to,, and were greeted with an error message saying the sites were down to make improvements. Internet Retailer first noticed the sites were down about 9:30 a.m. Central Thursday Its other online store, Intermix, remained up and functioning as of Thursday morning. Gap’s websites were functioning normally starting at around 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

Gap No. 20 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide with $2.53 billion in web sales in 2015, operates its e-commerce platform in-house, according to A Gap spokeswoman confirms that the maintenance was planned, but “unfortunately scheduled website maintenance took longer than anticipated and caused a temporary disruption to our online shopping experience. We worked quickly to resolve the delay and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”

Gap shoppers took to Twitter to express their disappointment Thursday morning:

  • “I love it. @gap just sent out an email sale promo and their site is down. Better shopping experience?#badmarketing,” tweeted Tierney Helmers ‏@TierneyHelmers1.
  • “@Gap How am I supposed to shop when up early w/ toddler if site is down? I’m guessing it wasn’t ‘scheduled’.” said Kayla Wherry Haley ‏@KaylaWherry.

Gap did respond to some of those shoppers, suggesting that shoppers clear their cache or try using a different browser, but the retailer did not reference its sites being down. An Internet Retailer editor attempted to access on Firefox and Internet Explorer and received the same error message.


A spokeswoman for cyber security provider Radware says the company’s engineers looked into Gap’s sites and told her they are not seeing any evidence of Gap suffering a distributed-denial-of-service, or DDoS, attack.

Examples of other e-commerce site outages: