What Are the Mission Statements of the Largest Apparel Retail Stores?

The mission statements and values that drive large retail corporations

What are Company Mission Statements of Largest Apparel Retail Stores?
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The largest apparel retail stores and chains—including American Eagle, The Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Zumiez—all have company mission, vision, and values statements intended to guide their operations. These statements define their brands, goals, culture, and customer experience. Each is as unique as the merchandise and shopping experience found in their stores. 

American Apparel Mission Statement

American Apparel says it's committed to high-quality products made without cheap sweatshop labor, employee care, art, design, and technology. The primary values that the company focuses on are equality, diversity, and creativity. The company got its start in 1989 when founder Dov Charney began selling T-shirts and sweatshirts as a student at Tufts University. Charney originally called his company "American Heavy Apparel." 

American Eagle Outfitters Mission Statement

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. started in 1977 with just one store in Michigan. Now the company boasts more than 1,000 stores. It operates two lifestyle brands, American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie.

For both brands, "American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. has built a distinctive global company culture based on our core values – People, Integrity, Passion, Innovation, and Teamwork. These values continue to shape our aspirational yet accessible brand identities." 

Ann Taylor Mission Statement

Ann Taylor says that "as the American woman has evolved, so have we, staying one step ahead to bring her a wardrobe of possibilities. She lives a rich and varied life, and we strive to bring her thoughtful style options for big days and everydays. With a sophisticated, feminine approach to modern essentials, we promise to give her the inspiration and confidence she needs to do what she loves."

Richard Liebeskind opened the first Ann Taylor shop in Connecticut in 1954 and named it Ann Taylor after his bestselling dress. It is now part of Ascena Retail Group, whose mission statement is "We provide all women and girls with fashion and inspiration for living confidently every day."

The Gap Mission Statement

For The Gap, "American Optimism is our attitude. Casual style is our aesthetic. Clean and confident, comfortable and accessible, classic and modern. It’s the quintessential expression of Gap brought to life through iconic clothing. Our collections are a modern interpretation of our denim roots and signature pieces that are a staple for every wardrobe. Gap embraces a youthful, infectious spirit and the freedom to express individual style."

In addition to its Gap stores, Gap, Inc. also owns Banana Republic, Old Navy, and INTERMIX. The Gap concept is the brainchild of Doris and Dan Fisher who opened the first Gap store in 1969. The vision of Gap, Inc. is to "Be the world's favorite for American style."

Gymboree Mission Statement

Gymboree's mission statement was that "Children are at the heart of everything we do. Childhood is filled with special moments every day and we design comfortable, quality clothes and accessories for memories in the making. Across all of our brands, we aim to make shopping and getting dressed easy and fun. Our clothes help children start each day with something special–because we know a child’s favorite outfit can make every day a great one."

The corporation began by offering mom-and-baby classes in the San Francisco area in 1976 and grew to operate 800 stores and outlets in the U.S. and Canada. After filing for bankruptcy, rights to the brand were purchased by The Children's Place, whose mission states, "Wherever and whenever our customers choose to shop with us, they trust The Children’s Place to provide quality, value, and style."

Macy's Mission Statement

The name brings to mind the Thanksgiving Day Parade and a handful of movies in which the parade was featured, like 1947's Miracle on 34th Street. Macy's also made an appearance on an episode of the NBC hit comedy Friends almost 50 years later in 1994.

The company's longevity and popularity might be the result of its mission statement, which has been tweaked a time or two since Macy's inception in New York in 1858: "Macy’s is America’s department store, an iconic brand and retail industry leader. Through its stores, e-commerce site, and mobile app, Macy's offers distinctive experiences and assortments, including the most sought after family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her, and home."

Nike Mission Statement

"To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world" is Nike's vision. Co-founder Bill Bowerman added the asterisk, which he used to clarify that, in his estimation at least, "If you have a body, you are an athlete." The company's mission statement is "to do everything possible to expand human potential."

Nike has been manufacturing and providing all manner of athletes with footwear, accessories, and apparel since 1964, although the company's initial offerings were running shoes. 

Victoria's Secret Mission Statement

L Brands purchased the struggling Victoria's Secret for $1 million in 1982. It was mostly a catalog business at that time with only three brick-and-mortar stores. These days, it's a multi-billion dollar business. L Brands maintains a mission statement that it is “committed to building a family of the world’s best fashion brands offering captivating customer experiences that drive long-term loyalty and deliver sustained growth for our shareholders.”

Victoria's Secret maintains its own vision statement and core values, separate from that of its parent company. It says that it is committed to offering “captivating customer experiences that drive long-term loyalty and deliver sustained growth for our shareholders.” Its core values are that “the customer rules, passion leads success, inclusion makes us stronger, it matters how we play the game.”

Zumiez Mission Statement

The Zumiez mission statement says that "We provide you with cutting edge clothing, footwear, accessories, hard goods for skate and snow for active lifestyles. Everything we do revolves around the customer—you are the heart of our company."

The retail chain was launched in 1978 by co-founders Tom Campion and Gary Haakenson. It went public in 2005. Zumiez's initial focus was on apparel for skateboarding and snowboarding; the company now offers a variety of clothing and accessories for men, women, and boys living active lives.