Gap outlines comprehensive China market entry plans
Gap Inc. unveiled details of its entry into China – the cornerstone of the company's global expansion strategy – with plans to open Gap stores in Beijing and Shanghai in late 2010, and simultaneously bring an online shopping experience to all Chinese consumers. The first four Gap stores will feature a full range of Gap adult, GapKids and babyGap product, including all styles of the brand's stylish and fashionable 1969 Premium Jeans.
This announcement marks the start of a long-term, multi-channel consumer market entry strategy for Gap Inc. that involves more stores in major regions, including Hong Kong, in the coming year.
As vibrant urban centers in China, Shanghai and Beijing have been chosen as the ideal locations for the first Gap stores, which will be wholly owned and operated.
In Shanghai, a 1,796 square meter Gap flagship will be located on the premier Nanjing West Road, occupying two floors in the Venture Tech building. It will be followed by another 1,140 square meter flagship located on Mid Huaihai Road, one of Shanghai's top high streets.
In Beijing, a 1,165 square meter flagship store will span two floors in the APM building on Wanfujing Street; another 1,800 square meter store will be opened in Chaobei Joy City, a large scale regional shopping center.
As part of its multi-channel entry strategy, Gap Inc. has partnered with Shanghai Yi Shang Network Information Co., Ltd., an e-commerce company with a legacy of delivering online retail experience in China. The online shopping site will give consumers throughout the country the opportunity to shop for Gap products whenever and wherever they want.
To lead these expansion efforts, the company has appointed Redmond Yeung as President, China for Gap Inc., and Lorenzo Moretti, as Managing Director, China for Gap Inc. Both Yeung and Moretti are accomplished executives who together bring hands-on experience building global brands including Best Buy, Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Yeung will lead business development and real estate strategy, and Moretti will focus on all store operations, product-to-market activities and infrastructure development. Based in Shanghai, where Gap Inc. will also open its corporate China headquarters, they will report to John Ermatinger, President, Asia Pacific Region for Gap Inc., who will oversee the businesses for both Japan and China.
“For over 15 years, we've been increasing our connection to global consumers by offering Gap's American inspired casual style to now over 25 countries,” said Glenn Murphy, Chairman and CEO, Gap Inc. “Now, after spending a lot of time listening to Chinese consumers and learning more about their shopping preferences, we're excited at the prospect of meeting their fashion needs -- initially by bringing our Gap designs to our stores and online later this year.”
Murphy continued: “We've appreciated all the guidance we've received from Chinese government entities as wellas business partners, and we're confident that the combination of a seasoned team of executives as well as our initial investment of four Gap stores in world famous urban centers will help us to successfully integrate our brands over time into China's dynamic retail market.”