SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. has announced plans to bring the Gap brand to Serbia and Ukraine through new agreements with existing franchise partners. The stores are scheduled to open in 2011 in the cities of Belgrade and Kiev where customers will be able to shop products from Gap, GapKids and babyGap.
“We look forward to bringing Gap’s distinctively American aesthetic to consumers in Ukraine, which is considered the fastest growing retail market in Eastern Europe, and Serbia with its young customers who love to shop,” said Stephen Sunnucks president international for Gap Inc. “With few international brands on the scene today, both markets underscore the effectiveness of our fast and flexible business model to successfully execute our global expansion strategy.”
Gap said it is planning to open its first store in Serbia in the capital city of Belgrade later this year. The location will be managed by The Marinopoulos Group, one of Greece’s leading retail, commercial and industrial firms. The group also manages the company’s franchise locations for Gap brand in Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.
Last year, Gap Inc. first made its products available to customers in Ukraine online through the company’s international shipping provider. Gap expects to open its first store this June in the capital city of Kiev. The store will be in an 9,000 sq. ft. space on Kreschatik Street, one of the city’s most famous and busiest streets.
Over the last five years, Gap Inc. has grown its franchise store base to about 180 and expanded from 2 to 24 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Australia. With the most recent announcement, the company now has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 28 countries, including Chile and Egypt in fiscal year 2011. The company plans to double its number of franchise stores to 400 by fiscal year 2015.