Company Also Adds Lebanon, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to Global Growth Plans For 2012
SAN FRANCISCO – March 20, 2012 – Continuing to execute on its global expansion strategy, Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced today the opening of two new locations in South Africa under its strategic alliances channel.
“We are excited to bring Gap’s casual American style and store experience to more customers in South Africa,” said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. “South Africa is the natural next step for expanding our presence on the continent. The country has a thriving economy and high Gap brand awareness, so we believe there is tremendous opportunity for us in the market.”
Building on its existing wholesale relationship with Stuttafords department stores, Gap and Stuttafords are opening two additional stores under its existing wholesale agreement with Stuttafords in South Africa this week. The first opens today in Sandton City Mall in Johannesburg. The second will open tomorrow in Cape Town’s Tyger Valley Centre. Each store will house product from the international Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections, and the assortment will be customized seasonally to best suit the needs of local customers and climate.
Gap Inc. also announced plans to open stores in three additional growing apparel markets in 2012:
Lebanon: Gap Inc. has signed a new agreement with Azadea group, one of the largest retailers in the Middle East, to open the first Gap store in Lebanon later this year. One of the main fashion centers of the region, Lebanon provides an ideal environment to introduce Gap brand. Since 2006, Gap Inc. has expanded its presence across the Middle East.
Georgia and Azerbaijan: As part of Gap Inc.’s ongoing market entry strategy for the Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS), Gap Inc. has expanded its existing agreement with retail partner, Al Hokair, to open its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Georgia this April followed by the first Gap store in Azerbaijan this August. With a strong demand for international brands and an emerging retail landscape, these markets offer Gap Inc. the perfect platform for its brands.
“Extending our presence in Africa, the Middle East and CIS demonstrates the effectiveness of our international formula and the continued flexibility of our franchise model, which allows us to reach new customers quickly around the world,” added Laban.
Gap Inc. is focused on growing its share of the global apparel market. Over the last six years, the company has grown its franchise store base to over 200, expanded to 34 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. 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 – South Africa Stores:
Sandton City Mall Sandton City, Rivonia Road, Sandown
Tyger Valley Centre, Willie Van Schoor Avenue, Bellville
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 store openings and timing, including in South Africa, Lebanon, Georgia and Azerbaijan;
- Global expansion strategies, including franchise growth;
- Substantial opportunity in Africa 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 March 20, 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.