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US apparel firm Gap opens its first store in South Africa
21
Mar '12
Continuing to execute on its global expansion strategy, Gap Inc. announced the opening of two new locations in South Africa under its strategic alliances channel.

“We are excited to bring Gap's casual American style and store experience to more customers in South Africa,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “South Africa is the natural next step for expanding our presence on the continent. The country has a thriving economy and high Gap brand awareness, so we believe there is tremendous opportunity for us in the market.”

Building on its existing wholesale relationship with Stuttafords department stores, Gap and Stuttafords are opening two additional stores under its existing wholesale agreement with Stuttafords in South Africa this week. The first will open in Sandton City Mall in Johannesburg. The second will open in Cape Town's Tyger Valley Centre.

Each store will house product from the international Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections, and the assortment will be customized seasonally to best suit the needs of local customers and climate.

Gap Inc. also announced plans to open stores in three additional growing apparel markets in 2012:

Lebanon: Gap Inc. has signed a new agreement with Azadea group, one of the largest retailers in the Middle East, to open the first Gap store in Lebanon later this year. One of the main fashion centers of the region, Lebanon provides an ideal environment to introduce Gap brand. Since 2006, Gap Inc. has expanded its presence across the Middle East.

Georgia and Azerbaijan: As part of Gap Inc.'s ongoing market entry strategy for the Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS), Gap Inc. has expanded its existing agreement with retail partner, Al Hokair, to open its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Georgia this April followed by the first Gap store in Azerbaijan this August.

With a strong demand for international brands and an emerging retail landscape, these markets offer Gap Inc. the perfect platform for its brands.

“Extending our presence in Africa, the Middle East and CIS demonstrates the effectiveness of our international formula and the continued flexibility of our franchise model, which allows us to reach new customers quickly around the world,” added Laban.

Gap Inc. is focused on growing its share of the global apparel market. Over the last six years, the company has grown its franchise store base to over 200, expanded to 34 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa.

In fiscal year 2011, Gap Inc. opened franchise stores in 8 new countries and grew the net sales of its franchise business 45 percent. The company expects to have 400 franchise stores by fiscal year 2014.

Gap Inc

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