Blog: Leonie BarrieGap's going global

Leonie Barrie | 19 April 2006

With Gap's total revenue sliding by 1.5% last year, the retailer has made no secret of the fact that international expansion will be a key component of its long-term recovery. The company signed its first-ever franchise agreement in January to take its Gap and Banana Republic stores to Singapore and Malaysia by 2010, and now comes a similar deal in the Middle East.

Although Gap currently sells its clothing ranges in just five countries – the US, Canada, UK, France and Japan – the brands have managed to rack up global awareness (not least through the fact that they are stitched together in many of the countries where they will now be sold) and should appeal to young, sophisticated Asian and Middle East shoppers. But the company is still likely to encounter stiff competition from both local brands and other international players as they all fight for market share.

Although Gap won't be drawn on the subject of China, analysts are speculating that as it edges further and further into Asia, China could well be the next stepping stone in its international strategy.

Gap seals Middle East deal


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