Gap To open its first stand-alone store in Mexico

Gap Inc. GPS -0.44% will open its first stand-alone store in Mexico as the clothing retailer moves forward with its international expansion plans.

“A stand-alone store is the natural next step for expanding our presence in the country,” said Stefan Laban, Gap’s managing director for strategic alliances.

The retailer previously operated in the country through a partnership with Mexican department-store chain Distribuidora Liverpool, S.A. DE C.V. The partnership allowed Gap merchandise to be sold through the “store within a store” concept in Liverpool department stores.

Customers responded positively to Gap’s initial product offerings in Mexico, leading the company to believe there is opportunity to expand, said Mr. Laban.

Gap will open its store in the Interlomas Mall, in a northern suburb of Mexico City. The 10,000 square foot store will have Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections.

The store opening comes as Gap moves forward with an international expansion on several fronts. The company plans to open Gap stores in two cities in Colombia in October, as well as a Banana Republic store in one of those cities–Medellin–later this year. It also plans to open a store in Uruguay later this year, and to sell products online to customers in Panama, Colombia, Chile and Peru, as well as other Latin American countries.

A company official also told Dow Jones Newswires earlier this week the company is conducting market research in India as part of a plan to open retail operations there.

Gap sells clothing, accessories and personal-care products for men, women, children and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brands.

Its products are sold in about 90 countries through around 3,000 company-operated stores, as well as more than 200 franchise stores and e-commerce sites.

The company shook up its management last year, including a move that ousted its top designer, as part of a turnaround plan. Even as it expands abroad, Gap plans to shut more than a fifth of its Gap stores in North America over the next two years due to an overextension of its store network in the U.S. and merchandising struggles.

Shares were down 0.3% in recent trading to $35.98. The stock is up 94% so far this year


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