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Gap looks for new fortunes in China
Gap plans to build a Chinese e-commerce site by late this year.
Clothing retailer Gap Inc. is taking on its biggest international market yet: China.
Gap, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, announced plans today to build an e-commerce site and open four Gap stores in Shanghai and Beijing by late this year.
To build its e-commerce site, Gap hired Shanghai Yi Shang Network Information Co. Ltd., an application development and online customer experience research firm.
“The online shopping site will give consumers throughout the country the opportunity to shop for Gap products whenever and wherever they want,” Gap says.
With the launch of an e-commerce site and stores, Gap is laying the foundation for more expansion in China, the retailer says. “We’re confident that the combination of a seasoned team of executives as well as our initial investment of four Gap stores in world famous urban centers will help us to successfully integrate our brands over time into China’s dynamic retail market,” says Gap CEO Glenn Murphy.
Gap also has named two executives to lead its Chinese market expansion. The retailer has hired Redmond Yeung as president, China for Gap Inc., and Lorenzo Moretti, as managing director, China. Yenug, who once worked as president and chief operating officer of Best Buy Asia, will lead business development and real estate strategy. Moretti, who previously was employed as executive vice president and chief operating officer of China and president, East China, Tesco Plc., will focus on store operations, product-to-market activities and infrastructure development. Both executives will report to John Ermatinger, president, Gap Asia Pacific region.
China is Gap’s latest online international expansion initiative. In October, Gap, which generated 2009 web sales of $1.12 billion and online sales of $295 million in its first quarter ended May 1, announced plans to open new web stores this year for its Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic brands in Canada and e-commerce sites for Gap and Banana Republic in the United Kingdom. The retailer plans to begin filling orders by fall.
“For over 15 years, we've been increasing our connection to global consumers by offering Gap's American inspired casual style to now over 25 countries,” says Murphy.