In 2013, Art Peck was one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People, earning the award for breathing new life into the Gap. The Gap is a specialty retailer with six brands, including the company’s namesake and Old Navy and Banana Republic. Peck has been the CEO since 2015 after holding various executive positions within the company since 2005. Being able to scan jeans with a phone and get suggestions for complimentary items is one of the digital innovations Fast Company cited when recognizing Peck. The magazine also recognized Peck for giving a voice to the Gap’s 36,000 retail employees with in-house social media so they can express their opinions about GapKids new designs.
In 2014, Art Peck supported a plan to raise the minimum wage for workers at all six chains. Peck told BuzzFeed the Gap isn’t cutting their workforce; the move is part of a plan to retain talent. Peck also wants to increase diversity.
After graduating from Harvard Business School with an MBA, Art Peck started his career at Avery Denison and then held executive positions at Boston Consulting Group, where he worked for 23 years. Before joining Gap as the VP strategy and operations, Peck had no experience in the apparel industry.
Art Peck planned and oversaw Gap’s launching of franchises in in 40 countries. Today, Gap Inc. has 414 franchise-operated stores. Some business analysts credit Peck with saving the company from going out of business with his ideas. In February 2019, Gap split into two different companies, with one consisting of Old Navy and the other, NewCo, containing all the Gap’s other brands which Art Peck will head. He’s hinted that NewCo, a temporary name, will focus on brick-and-mortar stores, but not in malls. Peck also told analysts denim would be a key focus of the company.
In Art Peck’s presentation at Shoptalk in Las Vegas, he spoke about meeting consumer’s rising expectations. He wants to use big data to learn what customers want so the Gap won’t have to offer deep discounts to get rid of stock which isn’t selling. Peck is also closing under-performing stores in North America.
Even though two of his four children work at Gap, Peck likes to keep a healthy work-life balance. He’s an is an avid runner who has completed challenging runs on all seven continents. It’s a family affair; Peck’s wife runs with him and his kids run marathons with him.