Gap Inc. Opens First Stores in Central America
Company Unveils Stores in Panamá, With Plans to Expand in Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru
SAN FRANCISCO – February 29, 2012 – Continuing to execute on its international growth strategy, today, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced its further expansion in Latin America. Leveraging its franchise model, the company has opened its first stores in Panamá and plans to introduce its brands to three additional Latin American countries: Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru.
As part of its existing agreement with Superior Retail Inc., Gap Inc. has opened two stores - a Gap and Banana Republic - side by side, in the Albrook Mall in Panamá City – the largest mall in Panamá. The stores will house products from the U.S. collections for Gap, GapKids and babyGap and Banana Republic’s affordable luxury apparel and accessories for men and women. The assortment for each brand will be customized seasonally to best suit the needs of Panamá customers and local climate.
“With a high rate of tourism and a rapidly growing demand for international retail brands, Panamá provides an ideal environment in which to introduce Gap and Banana Republic,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “At the crossroads of the Americas – serving as a bridge for business and travel between North, South, and Central America - Panamá also represents an important gateway for the future expansion of our brands in the region.”
Opening on the heels of the successful launch of the first Gap stores in South America in Chile last year, the Panamá City stores signify the first of several steps the company plans to take to continue to grow its footprint in Latin America over the next two years:
- The company expects to open three additional stores in Panamá in 2012– two Gap and one Banana Republic - as part of its agreement with Superior Retail Inc.
- Also via its agreement with Superior, Gap Inc. expects to open its first stores in Colombia in Bogota and Medellin later this year.
- Through an existing agreement with Komax, Gap Inc. plans to expand its presence in Chile in 2012, opening its first Banana Republic store this summer and two additional Gap stores later this year.
- Gap Inc. has signed a new agreement with a subsidiary of Neutral to bring Gap to Uruguay in 2012.
- The company has also signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Komax to bring Gap to Peru in 2013.
“Latin America hosts some of the fastest growing retail markets in the world with extremely high brand recognition for both Gap and Banana Republic,” said Laban. “This, combined with the tremendous response to the launch of Gap in Chile, makes us confident there is significant opportunity for our brands in Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay, as well as other countries in the region.”
In 2010, Gap Inc. first made its products available to consumers online in Panamá, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, and Peru along with several other Latin American countries through its international shipping provider.
Gap Inc. is focused on growing its share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel market. Over the last six years, the company has grown its franchise store base to over 200, expanded to 33 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa and currently has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 39 countries on 6 continents. In fiscal year 2011, Gap Inc. opened franchise stores in 8 new countries and grew the net sales of its franchise business 45 percent. The company expects to have 400 franchise stores by fiscal year 2014. More about Gap Inc.’s global runway can be downloaded from gapinc.com.
Address - Panama City Stores:
Pasillo Del Koala
Panamá City, Panamá
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the following:
- Expected franchise store openings and timing, including in Panamá, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Peru;
- Global expansion strategies, including franchise growth;
- Substantial opportunity in Latin America and further growth in the region;
- Gaining a larger share of the global apparel market;
- Number of future franchise stores.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following:
- The risk that changes in general economic conditions or consumer spending patterns will have a negative impact on the company’s financial performance or strategies;
- The highly competitive nature of the company’s business internationally;
- The risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging fashion trends and changing consumer preferences;
- The risk that the company’s efforts to expand internationally may not be successful and could impair the value of its brands;
- The risk that the company’s franchisees will be unable to successfully open, operate, and grow the company’s franchised stores;
- The risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations effectively;
- The risk that the company will be unsuccessful in implementing its strategic, operating and people initiatives;
- The risk that acts or omissions by the company’s third-party vendors, including a failure to comply with the company’s code of vendor conduct, could have a negative impact on its reputation or operations;
- The risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits; and
- The risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect the company’s financial condition, strategies, and results of operations.
Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2011, as well as the company’s subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of February 29, 2012. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal year 2011 net sales were $14.5 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in over 90 countries worldwide through about 3,000 company-operated stores, about 200 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.