We launch our Times Square store this Thursday, 10/26/17. It’s our most significant opening since 1969, when we opened the first Gap on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco. It’s crazy to think of how much we’ve grown since that original jeans and records shop.
Last week we kicked off one of two profiles on the women leading our newest global flagship. You loved our interview with District Manager, Keri Robitaille.
This week, meet Assistant Store Director, Shannon Valvano!
What’s your career path been like at Gap, and how did you land this opportunity?
I started as a part-time sales associate in 2004 in Scranton, PA when I needed a second job. I loved folding denim, and having a perfect wall was key. It was easy for me to help customers find what they were looking for because I knew how every pair of denim fit. I was promoted soon after to the stock supervisor where I learned to drive results in leading a stock team. I am naturally competitive so beating that UPH (units per hour) was fun and easy to achieve. I took on all other roles in the store until being promoted to a general manager in 2007. I found my voice at Gap, and a passion for helping customers, developing employees and driving results. I relocated to the D.C. Metro Area in 2009, and ran stores of different volumes. In 2015, my district manager moved to China, and I was given an opportunity as an acting DM. I gained a lot of perspective and was ready to take on another opportunity when it presented itself – Store Director of Michigan Ave. in Chicago. I remember interviewing with Keith Herbert, and he was talking about Times Square, and I remember thinking, wow, I wish that I could be a part of that, but I needed to focus on my interview for Michigan Ave. Fast forward to the present and here I am in NYC, for what I think is an opportunity of a lifetime.
What are three ways you’re preparing to help run our most high profile store?
Three ways I'm preparing? Wow, this is a tough one. First, my mindset – I need to really build the thought of anything is possible around ambiguity and being open to everything. I'm normally a growth mindset oriented person, but I've never worked in Times Square. Second, get to know Times Square – I've never lived in NY, so I've been learning about the businesses in Times Square, and traffic patterns at different times. Last, but certainly not least, people – I need to focus on what each person will need to be successful in Times Square.
What do you love most about working for Gap?
What I love the most about working for Gap is that, during my time here, no matter what role I have been in, there has always been someone behind me supporting me.
If you missed Part 1/2 of this series on Keri Robitaille, read it here.
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