Gap Inc. Continues to Expand Internationally with First Old Navy stores in the Middle East
Franchise-Operated Stores to Open in Spring 2015
SAN FRANCISCO – October 23, 2014 – Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced today it has signed agreements to open Old Navy stores in six Middle Eastern countries with franchisees Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. and Azadea beginning Spring 2015. The first markets include U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
International growth is a key priority for Gap Inc. and expanding Old Navy to new markets and countries in partnership with two franchise partners is an important step in the company’s strategy. This is the second franchise market expansion for Old Navy. In March of this year, the brand opened its first franchise-operated stores in the Philippines. The brand’s move into the Middle East builds on the success that Gap and Banana Republic have experienced since entering the market in 2007.
“Entering the Middle East is an important milestone in our strategy to share Old Navy with a broader, global customer base,” said Robert Frank, Executive Vice President of Old Navy International. “Given the family-centered culture of the region, we believe Old Navy’s iconic American apparel and focus on fashion, family and value will really resonate with customers.”
Old Navy stores will feature the same energizing store environment that the brand has become known for in the United States and will offer apparel and accessories collections for men’s, women’s, kid’s and baby.
Alhokair is one of the top fashion franchise retailers in Saudi Arabia, managing more than 80 brands, including Gap and Banana Republic across multiple markets.
“We are delighted to be opening Old Navy in Saudi Arabia,” said Simon Marshall, Chief Executive of Alhokair. “The first stores will open in the vibrant shopping districts of Riyadh and Dammam, with several more across the country planned for 2015.”
Azadea has a proven track record on successfully delivering seamless brand experiences to customers in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia and Europe, including the Gap brand in Lebanon and Cyprus.
“We are proud to announce our partnership with Old Navy and are extremely excited to be introducing this unique concept to the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait,” states Said G. Daher, Chief Executive Officer at Azadea.
The first Old Navy stores will open in Dubai, U.A.E, Kuwait City, Kuwait and Doha, Qatar.
About Old Navy
Old Navy is a global apparel and accessories brand that makes current American fashion essentials accessible to every family. Originated in 1994, the brand is now one of the largest apparel retailers in North America. A division of San Francisco-based Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), Old Navy brings a fun, energizing shopping environment to its customers in more than 1,000 stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan, China and the Philippines. For more information, please visit www.oldnavy.com.
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.
About Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co.
Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. (SJSC) is a publicly traded retail conglomerate headquartered in Saudi Arabia. The company partners with over 65 international brands, operates in 17 countries and manages over 2,100 standalone mono-brand stores. The company’s portfolio includes leading global brands, such as Zara, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Zara Home, Uterqüe, Gap Inc., Mango, Topshop, La Senza, The Children’s Place, Marks & Spencer, Tesco F&F, and Grupo Cortefiel. Primary areas of operations include the domestic market of Saudi Arabia, other markets in the Middle East & North Africa, Central Asia and Caucasus regions and the United States. Fawaz A. Alhokair & Co. was registered as a partnership in 1990, incorporated as a joint stock company in 2006 and listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2006. For more information, please visit Fawazalhokairfashion.com.
Azadea Group is a premier fashion and lifestyle retail company that owns and operates more than 50 leading international franchise concepts across the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and Europe. Since its inception in 1978, the Group has grown a substantial chain of stores representing leading international brand names in fashion and accessories, food and beverage, home furnishing, sporting goods and multimedia. With over 10,000 employees, the company boasts a solid infrastructure overseeing more than 500 stores spread across 16 countries including Algeria, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
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:
- opening of Old Navy franchise stores in the Middle East.
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 global economic conditions or consumer spending patterns could adversely impact our results of operations;
- the highly competitive nature of our business in the United States and internationally;
- the risk that we or our franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences;
- the risks that importing merchandise from foreign countries, including failure of our vendors to adhere to our Code of Vendor Conduct, could have a negative impact on our reputation or operations;
- the risk that our franchisees’ operation of franchise stores is not directly within our control and could impair the value of our brands;
- the risk that we or our 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 we are subject to data or other security breaches that may result in increased the risk that we are subject to data or other security breaches that may result in increased costs, violations of law, significant legal and financial exposure, and a loss of confidence in our security measures, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations and our reputation;
- the risk that natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, or other catastrophic events could adversely affect our operations and financial results, or those of our franchisees or vendors;
- the risk that changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape could adversely affect our financial condition, strategies, and results of operations; and
- the risk that we will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, claims, and audits.
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 October 23, 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 realize