The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014
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Arvind to bridge the Gap

Mumbai, Aug. 22: Gap Inc has teamed up with Arvind Lifestyle Brands for its India debut.

Gap will begin with two stores next year in Mumbai and Delhi, going up to 40 over the next five years. The partners expect Gap to generate business of over Rs 1,000 crore during the same period.

Gap will be positioned as a mass premium brand and the first stores will offer its summer 2015 collection for men/women, kids and babies, Sanjay Lalbhai, chairman & managing director of Arvind Ltd, told reporters here today.

Arvind Lifestyle will be the franchisee of Gap.

Steve Sunnucks, global president of Gap, said the company was optimistic about its India venture considering its huge potential.

“India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy. It represents an important platform to bring American casual style to consumers around the world,” he said.

The global retailer’s entry into India is part of its wider Asia programme, wherein the company seeks to reduce its dependence on the North American markets by adding 110 new Gap stores to its tally of 231 outlets in Asia.

Lalbhai said the stores would cost Rs 10 crore each and the company would also look at upscale malls to have a presence.

“We have a long and successful association with Gap as their vendor partner. Now we extend this partnership to retail and bring Gap stores to India. We see the addition of Gap in our portfolio as a significant step to becoming the leading apparel retailer in India,” Lalbhai said.

Some of the other brands of Gap Inc include Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix.

Arvind has a portfolio of owned and licensed brands and retail formats. It also has a joint venture in India with Tommy Hilfiger.

The tie-up with Gap comes after it announced a foray into e-commerce with custom clothing brand Creyate. This initiative will be led by Arvind Internet Ltd.

Investors also welcomed the tieup, sending shares of Arvind up on the bourses today. On the BSE, the scrip gained 1.25 per cent to end at Rs 255.90.