August 12, 2010, 3:04 PM

Gap goes global

Gap Inc. will offer shipping to 65 new countries by year’s end.

Lead Photo

Gap Inc. today boosted its e-commerce presence by extending shipping to 55 countries across five continents. The fashion retailer will ship to an additional 10 countries by the end of the year. The announcement comes less than two months after the company said it would open four retail stores and an e-commerce site in China later this year.

Gap Inc. uses FiftyOne Global Ecommerce’s multicurrency services for international orders. FiftyOne provides similar services to e-retailers such as Cabelas.com, Overstock.com and Nordstrom.com.

“We’ve put together an aggressive program to grow our e-commerce business,” says Toby Lenk, president of Gap Inc. Direct. “Online is an efficient way to reach new international customers and test the waters for our brands.”

Gap Inc. is No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The clothing retailer reported $1.12 billion in web sales in 2009.

With the new international shipping options, shoppers from such countries as Australia, Jamaica and Paraguay can shop retail sites that operate under the Gap, Banana Republic Old Navy, Piperlime and Athleta brands. A “shipping to” label and flag icon appear at the top and bottom of each page.

By clicking the label or flag the consumer selects the shipping destination and her preferred currency. Consumers can buy products in one country’s currency and ship the items to another country. Prices immediately adjust on the site to reflect the selected currency. Terms listed on Gap.com say exchange rates are updated daily and prices are guaranteed at checkout. The retailer will accept only Visa- and MasterCard-branded cards for payment. Gap says it will not accept store or gift cards.

Applicable shipping, duty and tax amounts appear at checkout. In a test conducted today for a sweater shipped to Brazil and paid for in Brazilian reals, the transaction on the $49.50 sweater cost the equivalent of $135.44; taxes, duties and shipping together cost more than the sweater. Customers from outside the United States do not receive flat-rate shipping, free returns, gifts with purchase or gift services.

International orders go to FiftyOne’s U.S. hub, which then ships items to their destinations. Delivery estimates for international orders range from nine to 21 business days, according to terms on Gap.com. International shoppers can return but not exchange merchandise; any changes are handled as new orders.

Dedicated e-commerce sites for consumers in Canada and the United Kingdom—where Gap already has retail stores—will launch in late August and orders placed on those sites will be filled in-country.  

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