Announced last September (2021) the joint venture was formed to effectively grow the Gap business in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland through a strong local partnership and manage Gap’s e-commerce business and in-shops at Next locations.
It marks the first milestone of the joint venture franchise relationship between the two companies as Next snaps up more brands for its Total Platform.
Gap said the joint venture is an important piece of the brand’s ‘partner to amplify’ strategy, which focuses on working with best-in-class companies, experts in their markets to reach new and existing customers while supporting the business in a new and cost-effective way.
Under the terms of the deal, Next Plc owns 51% of the joint venture while Gap Inc owns 49%.
The Oxford Street opening is a major milestone within the first phase of the launch plan to re-establish Gap’s brick-and-mortar presence in the market, with work underway to migrate Gap’s e-commerce business to Next Total Platform as well as integrate strong operational capabilities including a comprehensive click-and-collect service, next-day delivery, and a variety of customer service options later this year.
Adrienne Gernand, managing director of international, global licensing and wholesale at Gap Inc, said: “Partnering with market-leading, omni-channel retailers like Next, allows us to amplify and deliver our relevant, purpose-driven brand to meet our customers in the UK and Ireland—and with greater speed, agility, and customer services than ever before.”
GlobalData senior retail analyst Emily Salter predicted last year that opening shop-in-shops in 2022 would be unlikely to bring a significant amount of new footfall to Next’s stores, but that it also signals Next’s intentions to snap up more brands for its Total Platform, shifting its focus from own-brand retail to becoming a service provider.