Gap looks at 40 India stores in four years

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Gap Inc., the San Francisco-based, $16.4-billion clothing, accessories and personal care products major, will launch 10 new stores in Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi over the next one year, after it opened its first one here last week, a top company official said.

“We will come up with 40 stores in the next four years. Out of these, 10 stores will be set up by mid of next year,” J. Suresh, managing director and chief executive officer of the franchisee, Arvind Lifestyle Brands, told IANS.

“Each store will entail an investment of Rs.8-10 crore. It will include both the capital expenditure and working capital,” he said. Asked about funding for subsequent stores, Suresh said: “It will be through internal accruals.”

Gap is an American multinational for clothing and accessories, founded in San Francisco in 1969. Now selling under the brand names of Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix, it started its first international store in London in 1987.

The first outlet of the brand in India opened in the national capital on May 30.

Company officials said in the next one year alone, the company expects to generate 350-400 jobs in India through 10 stores.

Suresh said the company will have a range of merchandise under the Gap umbrella. “We will offer all kinds of category from Gap — these will be at par with all our international locations like New York and London.”

Gap also connects with customers online and across the brand’s more than 1,700 company-operated and franchise retail locations around the world. It has women’s and men’s apparel and accessories, GapKids, babyGap, GapMaternity, GapBody and GapFit collections.

Arvind Lifestyle so far has tie-up with 15 international brands, including Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein for India.

“We have now been able to bring Gap’s casual, American style to customers in India and we have been encouraged by the positive response from our launch so far,” said Ismail Seyis, vice president of Gap Franchise.

“Our brand awareness is very high and it is apparent there is a deep affinity for Gap in India. We are looking forward to providing a unique branded shopping experience across India.”

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