Mind the Gap!

Gap Stores (GPS) , which has long been criticized for its cozy relationship with Fisher Development, a construction company owned by Gap Chairman Donald Fisher’s brother, finally seems to have gotten it. Fisher Development, which up until 2 years ago, served as general contractor on practically all new store construction and renovation projects for the huge retailer, only received $4.2 million in fiscal 2003, according to the proxy. Compare that to the $416 million the company received from GPS in 2001 and the $741 million in 2000 and it really starts to put into perspective how much things have changed, at least at this one company. While there’s nothing illegal about directing huge amounts of business to family members of top executives or directors, it should make investors at least ask some hard questions.