AMERICAN clothing chain Gap in Oxford is rebranding as an outlet store.

Gap in Cornmarket Street is a long-standing tenant at the Clarendon Centre.

The store will close on Saturday, March 2 and relaunch as a Gap Outlet store on Thursday, March 7.

Gap, an iconic clothing brand founded in 1969, owns about 100 stores across the UK, and more than 700 worldwide but sales have been falling as the chain faces competition from high street rivals H&M, Primark, and Zara.

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H&M has a large store at the Clarendon Centre, and a second outlet at the Westgate Centre.

Spanish fashion chain Zara relocated to the Westgate Centre last year from the Clarendon Centre and discount clothing chain TK Maxx is expected to open in the former Zara unit at the Clarendon Centre in May.

A member of staff at Gap in Oxford said: “We are closing for a few days and relaunching as a Gap outlet store.

“It’s still a Gap store but there will be some cheaper products on sale.”

The Clarendon Centre, which has entrances on Cornmarket Street and Queen Street, is owned by Lothbury Investment Management.

Other stores include The Body Shop, French Connection, Thorntons and coffee chain Costa.

A spokesman for Lothbury Investment Management said: “Gap is a long-standing tenant at the Clarendon Centre.

“It will reopen following rebranding and reformating of the store

“We are delighted that Gap is continuing to trade in Oxford and we wish them good luck for the future.”