IMG will first focus on Gap, Banana Republic and Janie and Jack

IMG will first focus on Gap, Banana Republic and Janie and Jack

Speciality clothing retailer Gap Inc has partnered with IMG to explore the introduction of "complementary products" to its Gap, Banana Republic, and Janie and Jack assortments, including baby equipment, home décor, and furniture.

IMG is Gap Inc's first multi-brand, exclusive licensing representative and will initially focus on extending the reach of three of the group's brands. The plan is to bring to market new products that embody what Gap Inc calls its "distinct brand labels: Gap for casual, optimistic American style and expertise in elevated essentials; Janie and Jack's modern twist on classics for kids and babies; and Banana Republic's iconic, modern style designed for a life with no boundaries."

The multi-year partnership will focus on "highly selective" collaborations that extend the labels across new markets, categories, and other channels of distribution, and will also see IMG support GapKids and babyGap.

Among the categories the companies are exploring are baby equipment and baby care, home décor and textiles, and furniture.

"Gap Inc operates a portfolio of strong, globally relevant brands that are familiar, trusted, and highly marketable across multiple demographics," says Roy Hunt, head of Gap Inc franchise and strategic partnerships.

He added the move will see Gap mull new market segments and complementary points of product distribution for Gap, Banana Republic, and Janie and Jack in an "asset-light" way that harnesses the brand's individual strengths.

"This partnership with IMG presents a unique opportunity for us to bring our fashion and lifestyle brands to life in new ways for customers around the world, while still maintaining the creative integrity that make each of our brands so distinctive and recognisable in the marketplace."

Bruno Maglione, president of licensing for IMG, adds: "Over the past 50 years, Gap Inc has created a portfolio of powerful brands that have established themselves firmly in popular culture and with consumers around the world. These brands are household names that we all trust and have purchased and lived in.

"Distribution channels and consumer purchasing habits have evolved significantly since Gap's founding, and never more so than in the last few years. As one of the world's leading fashion retailers, Gap Inc recognises this omnichannel opportunity and the power of its brands to attract existing and new consumers from more than one angle and via more than one format."

Gap recently said it expects to take a first-quarter sales hit of about US$100m due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and is working on contingency plans to tackle falling demand and supply chain disruption. 

The forecasts came as the retailer reported a net loss of US$184m in the fourth quarter ended 1 February, compared to net income of $276m in the prior-year period. Net sales in the quarter edged up 1% year-on-year to $4.7bn.