19 Sep Gap To Franchise Athleta Internationally
Gap Inc. announced that it will begin franchising the Athleta and Janie & Jack brands internationally.
The company said its Global Franchise & Strategic Alliances division helps bring our beloved brands to customers all around the globe, from Chile to the Philippines. It all started back in 2006, when Gap Inc. opened its very first Gap franchise store in Singapore. There is a great appetite for the Gap Inc. family of brands globally and today.
“Introducing Athleta and Janie & Jack is a monumental milestone in our history and an opportunity to share more of our iconic brands with a broader, global customer base,” said Roy Hunt, the Senior Vice President of Gap Inc. Global Franchise & Strategic Alliances. “Given the premium, gift-worthy children’s looks of Janie & Jack and the versatile, sustainable women’s performance apparel of Athleta, we feel the two brands will resonate with customers in new and existing markets internationally.”
In order to generate market awareness for these brands, Gap Inc. expects to initially franchise Athleta and Janie & Jack online and in shop-in-shop formats and eventually transition into brick-and-mortar store space with proven partners. The company plans to work with existing partners who have strong operational capabilities and is open to working with new partners who have solid understandings of untapped markets as well as customer demand.
“There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for growth within our franchise arm and we are consistently researching and evaluating the best markets to support our brands,” said Hunt. “Oftentimes, businesses proactively approach us about opening our brands in their market, which allows us to be selective and therefore have many profitable and outstanding relationships with our partners.”
The introduction of the new brands builds on the success of the franchise business. In the last three years, Gap Inc. has opened 100 new franchise locations, and just in January 2019, the company announced a partnership with AR Retail S.A., a member of Grupo Promerica, to open 45 Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores in Central America and the Caribbean over the course of the next eight years. The launch kicked off with an opening of the Gap store in Costa Rica in August.
Currently, the Franchise business offers customers access to the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands in nearly 40 countries with more than 500 locations around the world, as well as 35 e-commerce sites.