Fashion retailer Gap has launched a dedicated e-commerce site in Europe, with initial availability limited to the UK market.

The company, which also recently launched a similar portal in Canada, said it planned to offer shipping to customers in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden this autumn.

The dedicated site for Gap and Banana Republic allows customers to shop for Gap, GapKids, babyGap and Banana Republic using one basket and checkout.

“We put a lot of research and time into building a dedicated UK e-commerce platform,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president of Gap Europe.

“We established a local distribution centre to enable us to offer an exceptional customer experience within the UK and establish the foundation to expand online shopping to more European countries this fall.”

The company aims to have e-commerce sites in China, Italy and Australia by the end of the year, having seen Gap Direct revenues snowball from US$595m to $1.1bn between 2005 and 2009.