First, the retail giant signed a new agreement with its existing franchise partner Neutral to open the first Gap store in Paraguay later this year. This follow Neutral’s launch of Gap brand in neighboring Uruguay last November.
In Eastern Europe, the first two Gap stores in Budapest will open this year through a deal with another existing franchise partner, Gottex Brands.
Finally, in Mexico, Banana Republic will open its first free-standing store in late 2013 through an existing agreement with retail partner Distribuidora Liverpool.
Previously, Gap Inc. offered Banana Republic-branded merchandise in a franchise “store-within-a-store” concept at the Liverpool Department stores. This will be the first stand-alone Banana Republic store in Mexico and will provide a full product assortment and branded store experience to the local consumers.
Gap said that, by the end of this year, it would have a presence in eight Latin American countries: Chile, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Brazil with plans to add Costa Rica in the near future.
Gap Inc. has significantly expanded the international reach of its brands since launching its first franchise operated store in 2006. In the last six years, Gap Inc. has substantially grown its store base and currently has more than 300 franchise stores in 40 markets throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia.