January 18, 2008 // Franchising.com // SAN FRANCISCO – Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced a franchise agreement to bring the Gap and Banana Republic brands to customers in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia. The company has previously announced separate franchise agreements with franchise partners to open Gap and Banana Republic stores in 12 other countries.
Gap Inc. has signed a franchise agreement with the Marinopoulos Group, one of Greece's leading retail, commercial and industrial groups, for exclusive rights to operate Gap and Banana Republic stores in this region. Under the terms of the agreement, the Marinopoulos Group will purchase merchandise from Gap Inc. or suppliers designated by Gap Inc., and must adhere to Gap Inc.'s quality standards to preserve the reputation of the brands. The Marinopoulos Group is a partner of other leading retailers including Marks & Spencer, Starbucks, Carrefour and LVMH through its subsidiary, Sephora.
"These markets represent a natural extension for our brands and we have an outstanding franchise partner in this region," said Ron Young, senior vice president of international strategic alliances for Gap Inc. "The Marinopoulos Group has a successful track record of introducing well-known retail and apparel brands in these markets, and they are an ideal partner for us."
The first Gap store is expected to open in Greece in fall 2008, with the first Banana Republic stores planned to open by spring 2009.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "plan," and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding the timing of store openings pursuant to the announced franchise agreement.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following: the risk that our franchisee will be unable to successfully open, operate and grow the Gap and/or Banana Republic branded apparel and accessories stores planned for Greece and the other Balkan states; the risk that the company will be unsuccessful in gauging fashion trends and changing consumer preferences; the highly competitive nature of the company's business in the U.S. and internationally and its dependence on consumer spending patterns, which are influenced by numerous other factors; the risk that the company will be unsuccessful in implementing its strategic, operating and people initiatives; the risk that trade matters, events causing disruptions in product shipments from China and other foreign countries, or IT systems changes may disrupt the company's supply chain or operations; and the risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits; any of which could impact net sales, costs and expenses, and/or planned strategies. Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 3, 2007. Readers should also consult the company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended November 3, 2007.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of January 15, 2008, and the company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading international specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories and personal care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Piperlime brand names. Fiscal 2006 sales were $15.9 billion. Gap Inc. operates more than 3,100 stores in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Ireland. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements for Asia, the Middle East and Europe. For more information, please visit gapinc.com.