Donald Fisher, who founded Gap Inc. with a single San Francisco blue jeans outlet in 1969 with his wife and business partner, Doris, died Sunday of cancer at his San Francisco home. He was 81.
"I didn't plan to go into the clothing business. I was just fortunate to have a bit of bad luck," Fisher once told a reporter. He was a 41-year-old real estate developer when he and his
wife tried to exchange a pair of Levi's jeans that didn't fit him and couldn't find a store in the city that carried all sizes. So they bought a shop that sold blue jeans and records, invested $63,000
and called it the Gap, which was Doris Fisher's shorthand for "generation gap."
Indeed, the business filled a gap, in both the retail pants market and the booming base of customers age
12-25. Gap now has more than 134,000 employees at 3,100 stores in 25 countries, with sales of $14.5 billion in fiscal 2008, the company. The company also markets the Banana Republic and Old Navy
brands, among others.
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