Filling a fashion 'Gap' in Asia
SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. announced that it plans to open its first stores in Vietnam and Guam through its franchise channel. In Vietnam, the first Gap stores will open this October followed by the first Banana Republic store in 2012. The first Gap store will open in Guam in 2012. The company first made its products available to consumers in this region last year through its international online shipping provider.
“These openings will mark yet another important step for the company as we accelerate our growth into international markets,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “Vietnam’s rapidly growing economy and Guam’s well developed tourism industry both provide ample opportunity to introduce the Gap and Banana Republic brands to local consumers.” The stores will house products from Gap, GapKids and babyGap and Banana Republic’s affordable luxury apparel and accessories for men and women.
Over the last five years, Gap Inc. has grown its franchise store base to about 200 and expanded to 26 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. With today’s announcement, the company now has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 32 countries, including Chile, Serbia and Morocco in fiscal year 2011. The company expects to double its franchise stores to 400 by fiscal year 2014.
Gap Inc.'s venture in Vietnam will be overseen by franchise partner Imex Pan Pacific. The company will open its first two Gap stores in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam, followed by additional locations in Hanoi in 2012. Banana Republic will make its debut in late 2012.
As part of an existing franchise agreement with Casual Clothing Specialist Inc., Gap Inc. will open its first two Gap stores in Guam in January 2012. Guam is the second country to be managed under the company’s agreement with CCSI Group, one of the leading retail and commercial firms in the Philippines. CCSI Group also manages the company’s franchise locations for Gap and Banana Republic in the Philippines.