Gap Business Insider/Hollis Johnson
Gap frequently runs huge sales.
  • Gap is a discount haven, and many loyal shoppers say it’s becoming increasingly unusual to buy clothing at full price in its stores.
  • Gap also has a separate program known as Gap Cash, which rewards shoppers with coupons when they make purchases. However, these coupons cannot be combined with some of the store’s other promotions.
  • Several loyal Gap shoppers are now complaining that its promotions system is confusing and that there is little incentive to use the coupons, as the discounts are often better without them.
  • “You don’t want a system that is so confusing that it just upsets your customers,” Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners, told Business Insider.

Discount signs have become a mainstay at Gap in recent years, and it’s become increasingly unusual to buy clothing at full price at the store.

Each day, it seems, there’s a new deal to lure shoppers in. Only last week, it was offering 70% off certain products.

While discounts are a way to get customers in the door and drive sales, they can also have long-term repercussions for retailers, eroding profit margins and damaging the brand’s image over time. Moreover, as shoppers become more addicted to promotions, they are less likely to ever pay full-price for clothing, analysts have said.

Gap Inc. CEO Art Peck, who oversees Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, likened past discounting at Banana Republic to a “game of chicken.” Still, Gap doesn’t seem to be moving away from its discounting strategy.

Now, two loyal Gap customers who spoke with Business Insider, as well as many who are posting on social media, are complaining that the store’s promotions system is so confusing that it’s turning them off from shopping there altogether.

Gap Cash coupons causing issues

Gap runs a program called Gap Cash whereby shoppers can earn back rewards on purchases. Shoppers can earn between $10 to $120 worth of coupons, depending on how much they purchase. The coupons are redeemable for a specific period after the fact.

Gap frequently sells clothing at a discount, so these coupons are perhaps less alluring than they could be, customers say. Plus, the Gap Cash coupons cannot be combined with some other promotions.

“What’s the point of Gap Cash now since you have 40% off sales all the time? Can you now combine it with other deals?” one customer wrote on Facebook.

Gap’s terms of service read, “GapCash is not combinable with select offers, promotional codes, or coupons. The following Gap Cardmember offers are combinable with GapCash on…