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US retailer Gap to enter India with Arvind

Posted on Aug 22 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Aug 22 : Textile major Arvind's Lifestyle Brands arm has tied up with the US iconic retailer Gap Inc. to franchise its apparels in India through retail format.

"We will open about 40 Gap stores to franchise its apparels across the country starting with Mumbai and Delhi early 2015," Arvind chairman Sanjay Lalbhai said in a statement here Friday.

Arvind, which has been a Gap vendor for long, is extending the partnership to retail for adding the latter's portfolio of brands to retain its leadership in the growing Indian apparel market.

As the world's second most populous country, India represents an important platform for Gap to bring its casual style to the upwardly mobile Indian consumers.

"India is an emerging, vibrant market and an important next step in our global expansion strategy," Gap's global president Steve Sunnucks said on the occasion.

Gap will ship its summer 2015 collection for adults, kids and babies to promote its well-known brands in the Indian market.

With more than half of the country's 1.2-billion people being under 25 years and the younger generation embracing fashion as never before, Gap plans to cash in on its brand awareness.

"We look forward to understanding the Indian market place and consumer needs to create our brand experience among the local consumers," Gap global franchise vice-president Ismail Seyis said in the statement.

As Gap has a huge recall in India and being a favourite among Bollywood stars, Arvind plans to leverage the former's brand awareness to scale up and expand its franchise business.

The USD 16-billion Gap, which has about 230 stores across Asia, plans to open an additional 110 stores in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan this year.

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