(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

The Longer The Store Stays Down, The Higher The Expectations Are

from the just-saying... dept

A few weeks ago, we wrote about the surprising decision for The Gap to shut down its online presence (which includes that of subsidiary companies like Old Navy) in preparation for a new launch. It seemed unfathomable that the company could possibly need days, let alone weeks, to swap out an e-commerce site. So, now the company is trying to explain away the issue in a NY Times article claiming that the new site is really (no, seriously) going to be something special. As for the extended downtime? It was the only way to handle the changing of the backend as well as the front end at the same time. This seems like a bizarre excuse. It still doesn't explain why the two systems can't be run in parallel and then flipped over from one to the other with minimal downtime. As for the supposedly amazing new site -- well, each day the site stays down the expectations increase. The Times piece suggests one small improvement, which hardly sounds revolutionary (being able to see different color clothes by mousing over the colors). Still, it is interesting to see a company really trying to change the state of e-commerce software. For years, it's pretty much been Amazon and that was it. Others would match Amazon in features, but no one seemed ready to go much beyond what Amazon had done to set the standard in e-commerce many years ago. It remains to be seen if the new Gap sites really reach that level -- at this time I still get the "sorry, we're closed" page. Update: I can finally get to the site, and if this is what they were down for, it's a huge disappointment. As it stands right now, on the front page, there doesn't appear to be any way to actually get to view clothes I might want to buy. There are two links to clothes. One for "women's fall trends" and one for "Gap Kids." I fit into neither category. Most of the screen is taken up by a promo having to do with musicians -- which I couldn't care any less about. This is the "improved navigation" system we were promised?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Bigcat39, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 5:28am

    No Subject Given

    It's GREAT that they want to improve the site, but this has been more than painful for the infrastructure workers ... in effect, a 3 week layoff that many can ill afford

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    ryguy, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 6:06am

    gap.com vs www.gap.com

    anyone notice that the www.gap.com still has the store closed page but the gap.com (the NYTIMES article uses this one) goes to the new site... does the dsn just need time to propogate or is this a big mistake?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 6:57am

    It gets even better

    In a show of true skill, oldnavy.com and gap.com are still up, even though the www subdomains are not. And gap.com supposedly provides a preview of the new features.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Mousky, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 7:43am

    Free Advertising

    Look at all the free advertising that the Gap and Old Navy are getting. This is the second time you have talked about this Mike. Now the mainstream media are talking about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Brice, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 8:33am

    This smells...

    This smells like a ploy cooked up in the brain of some marketing person--not like a huge revamp of IT infrastructure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anons Anonymous, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 10:01am

    Re: This smells...

    Oh NOoooo!
    Not another "New Coke vs Classic Coke"!!!

    On another note:
    I took my daughter to Old Navy recently (back to school time) and the style now is dominated by stuff that looks old.
    OK let me get this straight. It's brand new, with new prices, but designed to look old and worn. What the fukk is that??? God forbid, you just wear hand-me-downs! It has to look intentionally old, but not really BE old. How fake is this?
    (haha, yeah, I ain't with the fashion brigade, let me tell you... btw, is that why they call it "OLD" navy?)

    Just buy from Goodwill, or the Salvation Army. You could get four or five shirts for the price of one faked-old shirt from Old Navy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    joel, Sep 12th, 2005 @ 7:17pm


    the "new" layout/design looks like bluefly.com layout, way to go on originality and ground breaking design

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    MonkeyBoy, Sep 13th, 2005 @ 1:56pm

    Re: This smells...

    Actually, it's kind-of funny. Seems like their infrastructure revamp went a little sour, and they're using this "planned outage for continual improvement" to cover themselves while they fix the problems.

    From one who has dealt with big back-end infrastructure changes, shit can certainly hit the fan and fall apart in ways you wouldn't expect, but you just have to pick up the pices and get the business back up and running as soon as possible.

    Not that I actually know anything, of course. Just keep an eye on the site, things are starting to settle methinks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.