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Gap Inc. Opens First Stores In Central America

Stocks in this article: GPS

Continuing to execute on its international growth strategy, today, Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) announced its further expansion in Latin America. Leveraging its franchise model, the company has opened its first stores in Panamá and plans to introduce its brands to three additional Latin American countries: Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru.

As part of its existing agreement with Superior Retail Inc., Gap Inc. has opened two stores - a Gap and Banana Republic - side by side, in the Albrook Mall in Panamá City – the largest mall in Panamá. The stores will house products from the U.S. collections for Gap, GapKids and babyGap and Banana Republic’s affordable luxury apparel and accessories for men and women. The assortment for each brand will be customized seasonally to best suit the needs of Panamá customers and local climate.

“With a high rate of tourism and a rapidly growing demand for international retail brands, Panamá provides an ideal environment in which to introduce Gap and Banana Republic,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “At the crossroads of the Americas – serving as a bridge for business and travel between North, South, and Central America - Panamá also represents an important gateway for the future expansion of our brands in the region.”

Opening on the heels of the successful launch of the first Gap stores in South America in Chile last year, the Panamá City stores signify the first of several steps the company plans to take to continue to grow its footprint in Latin America over the next two years:

  • The company expects to open three additional stores in Panamá in 2012– two Gap and one Banana Republic - as part of its agreement with Superior Retail Inc.
  • Also via its agreement with Superior, Gap Inc. expects to open its first stores in Colombia in Bogota and Medellin later this year.
  • Through an existing agreement with Komax, Gap Inc. plans to expand its presence in Chile in 2012, opening its first Banana Republic store this summer and two additional Gap stores later this year.
  • Gap Inc. has 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.

“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 Laban. “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.”

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