Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced today its plans to open five franchise-operated Old Navy stores in the Philippines in 2014, an important pillar of the company’s international growth strategy for the brand. The first two Old Navy stores will open in Manila in March and there are plans to open three more stores in the second half of the year for a total of five Old Navy stores in 2014. “This is an extremely exciting time for Old Navy,” said Robert Frank, EVP, Old Navy International. “With our recent entry into China and continued growth in Japan, the openings in the Philippines position us for further growth in Asia and beyond.” “The Philippines is a natural fit for Old Navy as the country has a strong and growing economy, and consumers in the market are interested in iconic American apparel brands,” said Blair Dunn, General Manager, Old Navy Franchise. “Through local partners we have immediate access to a deep understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs.” The first of two Old Navy stores, a dedicated three-story building, will open in the heart of Manila’s fashion and shopping district, Bonifacio High Street, on March 22. The second store will open in the prominent Glorietta mall on March 29. Both stores will launch with the Old Navy Spring 2014 collection of the most current fashion essentials and accessories for men, women, children, baby and maternity in the same energizing store environment that made the brand famous. The three additional Old Navy stores are targeted to open in the Manila area in the second half of this year in new and existing developments. Old Navy is partnering with Stores Specialists, Inc. to open the stores, which already operates Gap brand and Banana Republic stores in the Philippines. “Local consumers are excited to welcome an iconic American brand like Old Navy and we’re proud to help introduce the brand in our market,” said Anthony Huang, Executive Vice President, Stores Specialists, Inc.