US apparel brand Gap will have eight stores operational in the country by the end of this financial year as the company enters the Mumbai market with the launch of two stores on Saturday and will add two more stores in Delhi and Bengaluru before March.
When Gap entered India and had launched the first store in Delhi, on May 30, 2015, the company had said that it would launch 10 stores in the country within a year. Arvind Lifestyle Brands, a subsidiary of Arvind Ltd, is the Indian franchisee partner of Gap.
Oliver Kaye, chief executive officer, Gap, said, “Real estate is a concern mainly in a city like Mumbai. In other locations also negotiating for real estate is time taking because of which it is difficult to comment on our exact expansion plans. In Mumbai we had to open our stores in Phoenix at Lower Parel and other high-end locations but there is a shortage of space. Had we been focusing on opening stores of around 3,000 to 4,000 sq ft it would have been easier but we are looking at large format stores ranging above 6,000 sq ft.”
Gap is opening a 6,000 sq ft store in Oberoi Mall, Goregaon in Mumbai after ethnic wear brand Nalli shut their store in the mall. At Infiniti Mall, Malad, the store is spread across 8,000 sq ft and has opened after Reliance Trend shut shop in the mall. Gap will offer the GapKids and babyGap Spring 2016 collection in the stores among others, said Kaye.
The company plans to launch one more store at Mall of India in Noida of 9,500 sq ft and at Phoenix Marketcity in Bengaluru of 6,000 sq ft.
Gap at present has four stores operational in the country at Select Citywalk, Ambience Mall Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, Ambience Mall, Gurgaon and Orion Mall at Brigade Gateway, Bengaluru.
Kaye claimed that there maybe many other foreign retailers but Gap is expanding fast and will have the highest number of stores in the country as the company plans to be the fastest growing international retailer in the country.
With the new stores in Mumbai, Gap now has presence in three markets — Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, and plans to increase its presence further by the end of this financial year.
Kaye said the product price starts from R699 and the company is offering products which are available globally in US stores, Singapore stores among others. “We are sourcingour products globally so products available in teh Indian market is also simillar,” he said.
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.