SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. is continuing its expansion into Latin America with the opening of its first stores in South America in Chile this month. The company also announced plans to open Gap and Banana Republic stores in Panama and Colombia in 2012.
“We are thrilled to be opening our first stores in South America. Taking our brands to another continent reflects the success and flexibility of our franchise model, which allows us to quickly expand our reach to customers around the world,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president international for Gap Inc. “We believe substantial opportunity exists in Latin America and our first stores in Chile, Panama and Colombia will allow us to establish a foundation for further growth in this region.”
Gap Inc. first made its products available to consumers in Chile, Panama and Colombia last year through its international online shipping provider. Stores in these countries will house products from Gap, GapKids and babyGap and Banana Republic.
Under Gap Inc.’s existing franchise agreement with Komax, the first Gap store in Chile will open in Santiago on Oct. 14 in the Parque Arauco Mall. A second Gap store will open in the country in Concepcion at the Plaza Trebol Shopping Center in November.
Gap Inc. has signed a new agreement with Superior Retail Inc. to bring Gap and Banana Republic to Panama. The company plans to open the first stores in Panama City, the country’s capital, in January 2012.
As part of the new agreement with Superior Retail Inc.., the first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Colombia are expected to open in the capital city of Bogota in late 2012.