American apparel retailer Gap is planning a major expansion in India in partnership with Arvind Lifestyle Brand Ltd, its long time supplier, with plans to open at least 40 stores.
The expansion move to India is part of Gap’s strategy to expand to international, emerging markets as sales at home stagnate.
The first stores will come up in Delhi and Mumbai in 2015, and will initially sell Gap’s Summer 2015 collection for adults, kids and babies.
Commenting on the announcement, Gap Global Franchise vice president Ismail Seyis said: "More than half of India’s population is under 25 and they are actively embracing fashion in today’s retail environment.
"We are thrilled to know that our brand awareness is very high and there is a deep affinity for Gap in India."
With 231 stores in Asia, Gap is also planning to open 110 stores in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan this year, as reported in Reuters.
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Gap witnessed favourable quarterly results, with its revenues rising by 3% to $3.98bn. Gap’s net profits, too, rose to $332m in the second quarter from $303m a year ago.
India currently allows single-brand retailers such as Gap to operate stores, but restricts investments by multi-brand retailers such as Walmart.
Gap is not alone to take advantage of India’s largely young demographic. American brands such as Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and European labels such as Zara, United Colours of Benetton and Lacoste are all expanding big-time in the country.
Various other international brands sell their products through popular Indian online shopping portals such as Jabong, Flipkart and Myntra.