Gap Inc. Announces Global Expansion Plans
Gap Brand Set to Launch in Slovenia and Austria
SAN FRANCISCO - July 21, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Continuing to deliver on its global growth plans, Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) today announced that it will introduce the Gap brand to Slovenia and Austria through agreements with new and existing franchise partners. Magistrat International, a new partner, has been selected for the launch of Slovenia and Gottex, which currently manages the Gap franchise business in Israel and Hungary, will launch Austria.
"We are thrilled to be opening in Slovenia and Austria and can't wait to meet customers when we open our doors for the first time in each capital city. One of the best things about opening in a new country is the incredible welcome that Gap receives and the buzz that generates for our teams and our customers alike," said Ismail Seyis, Vice President of Gap Franchise.
"Gap is known all over the world and we have grown our store presence significantly in recent years to help bring our casual style to more and more customers. We launched into five new markets last year; Hungary, Paraguay Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, and with the opening of stores in Slovenia and Austria we now bring our iconic brand to customers through stores in almost 50 countries," said Gap Brand President, Steve Sunnucks.
Gap has signed a new agreement with Magistrat International to open three stores for the first time later this year in the capital city of Ljubljana. City Park, Slovenia's largest shopping center, will be the location for the first two free-standing stores; one for Adult and one for Kids and Baby. The Emporium department store will feature the full collection of Mens, Womens, Kids and Baby. All locations are scheduled to open by September this year showcasing the Fall 2014 collection.
Gap will also open its first store in Vienna, Austria this October through an existing relationship with Gottex Brands, which is a part of the Trimera Group. The free-standing Gap store will be located at the Donauzentrum Mall and will provide a full product assortment and branded store experience to the local consumers. As a great international city with a high tourism rate, Vienna offers an exciting platform for Gap to bring its casual American style and store experience to local and visiting customers alike.
Gap Inc. has expanded the international reach of its brands since launching its first franchise operated store in 2006. Over the last eight years, Gap Inc. has grown its store base and currently has over 300 franchise stores across the world.
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:
- Expected franchise store openings and timing.
- Global expansion strategies.
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 changes in general economic conditions or consumer spending patterns could adversely impact the company's results of operations;
- the highly competitive nature of the company's business internationally;
- the risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
- the risk that the company's franchisees will be unable to successfully open, operate, and grow their franchised stores in a manner consistent with the company's requirements regarding its brand identities and customer experience standards;
- the risk that the company's franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively;
- the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect the company's operations and financial results;
- the risk that acts or omissions by the company's third-party vendors, including a failure to comply with the company's code of vendor conduct, could have a negative impact on its reputation or operations;
- the risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits; and
- the risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect the company's financial condition, strategies, and results of operations.
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 1, 2014, as well as the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of July 21, 2014. 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 global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,100 company-operated stores, over 350 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
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