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Gap to launch in India after Hamleys owner Reliance signs franchise agreement

07 Jul 2022 - Gap is set to launch in India after Reliance Retail signed a franchise agreement with the retailer.

Reliance, which India’s largest retailer, said it aims to sell the Gap’s brands locally, marking its latest expansion.

Under a long-term franchise agreement, Reliance will sell Gap merchandise through a mix of exclusive brand stores, multi-brand outlets and ecommerce platforms.

“The partnership is aimed at leveraging Gap’s position as a leading casual lifestyle brand,” said Reliance Retail, which is part of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s conglomerate Reliance Industries.

Financials terms of the deal were not disclosed.

It comes just days after Reliance announced a plan to open outlets of popular British sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger in India. It already has partnerships with several luxury brands including Burberry.

For Gap, whose brands include Old Navy and Banana Republic, the partnership comes as clothing retailers struggle with weak demand in the face of surging inflation.

Gap was looking forward to expanding “across key international markets”, its executive Adrienne Gernand said in the statement, adding the deal was part of its efforts to diversify its business portfolio through a partner-based model.

Gap’s previous attempt to woo Indian customers turned sour after the jeans and casual clothing retailer terminated its deal with a unit of Arvind Fashions in 2020, when strict lockdowns resulted in near-zero footfalls across malls and shopping centres.

Reliance has hundreds of retail stores spanning electronics, groceries and fashion in India, and is also expanding into ecommerce.
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