San Francisco—With its eye on expanding globally to offset its weaken domestic business, Gap Inc. today announced that it opened its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Panama and plans to introduce its brands in Columbia, Uruguay and Peru, too.
“Latin America hosts some of the fastest growing retail markets in the world with extremely high brand recognition for both Gap and Banana Republic,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “This, combined with the tremendous response to the launch of Gap in Chile, makes us confident there is significant opportunity for our brands in Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay, as well as other countries in the region.”
Latin America: ‘Extremely High Brand Recognition’
Gap is using a franchise model to make the expansions. As part of its existing agreement with Superior Retail Inc., Gap Inc. opened a Gap and Banana Republic side by side, in the Albrook Mall in Panama City, Panama’s the largest mall. The company said assortments for each brand will be adjusted seasonally to best suit the needs of Panama consumers and local climate.
“With a high rate of tourism and a rapidly growing demand for international retail brands, Panama provides an ideal environment in which to introduce Gap and Banana Republic,” Laban said. “At the crossroads of the Americas–serving as a bridge for business and travel between North, South, and Central America–Panama also represents an important gateway for the future expansion of our brands in the region.
●In Chile, where it partners with Komax, Gap Inc. plans to open the first Banana Republic as well as two more Gap stores this year, too.
●Through its agreement with Superior, company expects to open its first stores in Colombia in Bogota and Medellin later this year.
●Gap Inc. signed a new agreement with a subsidiary of Neutral to bring Gap to Uruguay in 2012.
●The company has also signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Komax to bring Gap to Peru in 2013.