First Serbia Store Opening Marks Milestone of Company's 200th Franchise StoreMOSCOW--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing with its global expansion strategy, Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) today announced the opening of the first Banana Republic store in Russia through its franchise channel. The company also announced that it will open its first Gap store in Serbia on Friday. This store will represent the company's 200th franchise store globally.
"We are very proud to not only be introducing Banana Republic to Russia, but also opening our 200th franchise store," said Stephen Sunnucks, president, international, Gap Inc. "This is a significant landmark for our goal of growing our franchise store base to 400 by 2014."
Gap Inc. is focused on growing its share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel market. Over the last five years, the company has grown its franchise store base to 200 and expanded to 27 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. The company has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 32 countries, including Chile, Vietnam and Morocco in fiscal year 2011.
The first Banana Republic store in Russia is located in Moscow's AfiMall City, the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the city. Gap Inc. first made its products available to Russian consumers in 2008 with its first Gap store. Since then, the company has expanded its store base to 11 franchise stores in the market, including 9 in Moscow. In 2010, the company began offering Russian consumers both Gap and Banana Republic products online through its international online shipping provider. The new store will be managed under Gap's existing franchise agreement with Fiba Holding, which also manages the brand's franchise locations in Turkey and the Ukraine.
"Russia's consumer base has nearly double the amount of disposable income compared with the average western consumer," said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. "Given Russia's high demand for retail consumption, the market presents an ideal opportunity to introduce Banana Republic's affordable luxury offering."
The first Russian Banana Republic store is part of Gap Inc.'s ongoing strategy to bring Banana Republic's affordable luxury offering to new markets worldwide. Since its founding in 1978, Banana Republic has established itself as a brand offering a range of stylish, versatile wardrobe solutions delivering elevated design and luxurious fabrications at approachable prices. The Moscow store will offer the brand's covetable, uncomplicated style that works from day to night and will house the women's and men's ready-to-wear collections, accessories and personal care products.
The first Gap store in Serbia is located in the capital city of Belgrade on Knez Mihailova Street. Serbia is the sixth country to be managed under Gap Inc.'s franchise agreement with The Marinopoulos Group, one of Greece's leading retail, commercial and industrial firms. The group also manages the company's franchise locations for Gap brand in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.
"The city's central location, at the crossroads of Southeast Europe, and modern urban plans provide a perfect platform to introduce Gap to the market," said Laban.
The Belgrade store will house products from the Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections. The styles include simple, easy to wear pieces that form the foundation of any wardrobe, especially, Gap's 1969 Premium Jeans. Building on more than 40 years of denim experience, the jeans offer superior fit, finishes and detail at a truly affordable price point.
Moscow Store Address
2 Prenenskaya emb
Belgrade Store Address
Knez Mihailova 14-16,
11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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," "project," and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the following:
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:
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 January 29, 2011, as well as the company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
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Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2010 net sales were $14.7 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.