March 30, 2011, 12:19 PM

Gap opens a Chinese web store

The apparel retailer opens the store on Taobao Mall.

Lead Photo

Gap Inc. is selling online in China.

This morning, Gap, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide opened an online store on Taobao Mall, one of China’s biggest business-to-consumer e-commerce marketplaces.

Gap, which late last year opened Gap bricks-and-mortar stores in Shanghai and Beijing, initially will use its web store on Taobao.com to sell merchandise from its Gap, Baby Gap and Gap Kids brands, the retailer says.

Taobao reaches 370 million registered users, Gap says. Taobao also receives more than 50 million unique visitors daily and features more than 800 million individual product listings.

“Given China is the cornerstone of Gap Inc’s global growth strategy, we believe that partnering with Taobao, with its phenomenal reach all throughout the country, is an important next step as we build on the success we’ve seen so far with our store openings and e-commerce offering,” says Redmond Yeung, president of Gap China.

Gap joins other well-known brands with web stores on Taobao, such as Levi Strauss & Co. (No. 337) and adidas (No. 186.) “The continued expansion of brand selection on Taobao Mall is part of our mission to provide consumers with authentic, high-quality products," says Taobao vice president Peng Ye. "Apparel has long been one of the top-selling categories.”

Moving into China’s burgeoning e-commerce market is the latest move by Gap to become a bigger global online retailer. In February, Gap also expanded its e-commerce brands for Gap and Banana Republic to eight more European retail markets: Austria, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia. Gap already sells online in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

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