Gap, the $15.8-billion American apparel and accessories brand on Friday made its debut in the Indian e-commerce market space. The brand started online sales on the NNNow.com, an e-commerce platform created by Arvind Lifestyle.
The moves gives the brand a reach across the country where it does not have a presence, Oliver Kaye, CEO, Gap Business, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Limited, said.
“Trends show that 70% of sales happen outside the big cities and now this market is available to Gap,” he said.
The online market place will have entire range that retail stores offer, Kaye said.
“Gap will not be available on any other platforms and will stay away from the so called festival discount sales that e-tailers are currently involved in. These sales are about clearing old season merchandise and discontinued range,” Kaye said.
“The whole store inventory will be available online unlike other players like Flipkart and Myntra that do not offer the whole range,” he said.
Arvind Lifestyles Brands, a subsidiary of Arvind, has exclusive rights to sell Gap brand in India in both offline and online retail. While the stores will be used to push the brand’s online presence on NNOW.com, Gap will also be setting up pop-up shops in the Ahmedabad, Kochi, Jaipur, Lucknow and Hyderabad where it does not have a presence.
While the brand has made its online debut, there is no change in the offline sale strategy as it continues to expand its network on the ground. According to Kaye, Gap is the fastest growing international brand having opened 10 stores in little over a year time.
Kaye was in Pune to inaugurate 11th Gap retail store in the country at the Phoenix Marketcity Mall.
The store will include women’s and men’s apparel and accessories as well as other GAP brands –babyGap, GapKids, GapMaternity,GapBody and GapFit collections.
The company targets to have 40 stores of 5,500 sq ft to 12,000 sq ft across the country in five years. “India is an important country for Gap. Next week four GAP directors will be in India to discuss expansion and growth plan in India,” Kaye said
At present, Gap, as a brand, is at number four position globally trailing behind Zara, H&M and Uniqlo. It is struggling in the US market with store closures. So a foray into the Indian market is significant.
“The investments we are putting in India are huge,” said Kaye.