Gap Inc. Opens First Stores in Central America

by Nate Hunter

San Francisco — Continuing its international growth, Gap has opened its first stores in Panamá and plans to debut stores in three additional Latin American countries: Colombia, Uruguay and Peru.


San Francisco — Continuing to execute on its international growth strategy, Gap Inc. has further expansion plans 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 — in the Albrook Mall in Panamá City, the largest mall in Panamá.

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 2 years:

• The company expects to open three additional stores in Panamá in 2012 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,” says 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.”

Over the last 6 years, Gap Inc. has grown its franchise store base to over 200, expanded to 33 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa and currently has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 39 countries on six continents. In fiscal year 2011, Gap Inc. opened franchise stores in eight new countries and grew the net sales of its franchise business 45%. The company expects to have 400 franchise stores by fiscal year 2014.

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SOURCE: Gap Inc.

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