Gap Inc. Announces Plans to Extend International Presence to India through Franchise Agreement
First stores to open in Mumbai and Delhi in 2015
SAN FRANCISCO – August 21, 2014 – Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today announced plans to enter India through franchise-operated Gap brand stores in 2015. Gap is partnering with Arvind Lifestyle Brand Limited, a subsidiary of Arvind Limited, which is one of India’s largest textile companies. The first stores are expected to open in India’s two largest cities – Mumbai and Delhi – starting with Gap’s Summer 2015 collection for adults, kids and babies. The brand plans to open about 40 franchise-operated Gap stores in India.
“India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy,” said Steve Sunnucks, Global President of Gap. “Gap is loved around the world for our American casual style and enduring value and quality, and we are so pleased to bring our brand and products to life for customers in India.”
As the world’s second most populated country with more than 1.2 billion people, India represents an important platform to bring American casual style to consumers around the world.
“More than half of India’s population is under 25 and they are actively embracing fashion in today’s retail environment,” said Ismail Seyis, Vice President of Gap Global Franchise. “We are thrilled to know that our brand awareness is very high and there is a deep affinity for Gap in India. We look forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the marketplace and consumer needs to create the best possible Gap brand experience for the local consumers.”
Gap Inc. has a long-standing commitment to India having sourced products from the country for decades. India is one of the company’s top ten global sourcing locations and Gap Inc. has worked in an effort to build meaningful relationships and responsible practices with our vendor partners. In 2007, Gap Inc. launched the P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) workplace education program in India with one vendor in two manufacturing units. The program offers female garment workers the life skills education and technical training they need to advance at work and in life. Currently 25 of the 64 manufacturing facilities that participate in the program are based in India.
Since launching its first franchise-operated store in 2006, Gap Inc. has quickly expanded the international reach of its brands, which now includes almost 400 franchise-operated stores along with about 3,200 company-owned stores. The Gap brand now has a presence in nearly 50 countries, due to the rapid acceleration and commitment to the global expansion strategy.
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:
- Gap brand franchise store openings in India.
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 could adversely impact the company’s results of operations;
- the highly competitive nature of the company’s business internationally;
- the risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
- the risk that the company’s franchisees will be unable to successfully open, operate, and grow their franchised stores in a manner consistent with the company’s requirements regarding its brand identities and customer experience standards;
- the risk that the company’s franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively;
- the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect the company’s operations and financial results;
- 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 February 1, 2014, as well as the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of August 21, 2014. 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 retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta, and Intermix brands. Fiscal year 2013 net sales were $16.1 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through about 3,200 company-operated stores, almost 400 franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.