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Gap Inc. to expand international presence, improve product assortments

October 15, 2009 | 11:54 am

Gap Inc., parent to the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy chains, today announced several moves to expand its international presence. Gapjeans2

The San Francisco company said it would open its first Gap-brand store in China in 2010; increase the number of its international outlet stores; and launch online businesses in Canada and Britain next year.

The Gap brand will also return to television advertising in November after a two-year absence, the company said.

“With our improved economic model, we’re ready to step up our investments and strategies to regain market share and expand our international platform,” Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive of Gap Inc., said in a statement.

The company’s chains will also work to improve their stores and product assortments.

The Gap brand, which in August launched a line of premium denim, will continue to focus on reinventing key product categories, such as khakis and pants, through 2010, the company said.

Banana Republic, which the company said became “too serious” and “too heavily work-focused,” is working to create a more versatile lineup “that balances products more evenly across weekend, work and going-out occasions.”

Gap Inc. operates more than 3,100 stores in the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Japan and Ireland. Its fiscal 2008 sales were $14.5 billion.

-- Andrea Chang

Photo: The Gap brand rolled out a line of premium denim in August. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times