Store closures are targeted for completion by 31 January 2018

Store closures are targeted for completion by 31 January 2018

Australian brand owner and distributor Oroton Group is to discontinue its franchise agreement with US speciality retailer Gap, in a move that will see its six Gap stores in Australia shutter by the end of January next year.

Oroton inked the franchise deal with Gap in October 2013 in a bid to develop the brand in Australia and New Zealand. Now the group says it will end its future investment in the franchise, limiting future losses.

"The board and I thank the entire Gap Australia and Gap Inc team for their dedication and substantial efforts to develop the Gap business in Australia over recent years," said Oroton CEO Ross Lane. "Oroton Group also acknowledges the support and cooperation that it has received fom Gap Inc in amending existing arrangements."

Oroton adds that once it has worked through the closure of the franchise stores it will focus resources solely on its core Oroton handbag and accessories brand.

Gap did not respond to just-style's request for comment at the time of going to press.

Oroton Group was the exclusive licensee for the Ralph Lauren apparel brand in Australia and New Zealand until June 2013; and in July 2015 it sold its stake in Brooks Brothers Australia.