April 19, 2011, 1:11 PM

Gap streamlines its international operations

The new overseas unit reports to Gap Europe president Stephen Sunnucks.

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Now that Gap Inc. is out to conquer the global business-to-consumer e-commerce market and other retail venues, the chain retailer is rolling all of its international operations into a single unit and putting one executive in charge.

Gap, No. 23 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, is consolidating all of its foreign e-commerce and store programs in Europe and China under a new unit to be headed by Gap Europe and strategic alliances president Stephen Sunnucks.

Gap’s streamlined international operation will include 530 stores across 30 countries. Gap in the past two years also has launched e-commerce operations for shoppers  in Austria, Estonia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia Slovenia Belgium, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere.

Sunnucks will report to Gap CEO Glenn Murphy. “Our successful openings in China and Italy have given us further evidence that we have a strong game plan for entering and expanding into international markets through a unique combination of online, specialty retail, outlet and franchise stores,” says Murphy.

Gap, which posted web sales of $1.3 billion in 2010, expects its e-commerce and international operations to account for about 30% of all revenue by 2013, says Murphy. Total sales for Gap in 2010 increased 3.2% to $14.66 billion from $14.20 billion in 2009.

Gap also will begin to develop more overseas opportunity for its Old Navy brand. Gap says John Ermatinger, president of Gap’s Asia/Pacific business, will take on additional duties to make Old Navy a bigger international operation. Old Navy will open stores in Japan next year and already ships online to about 90 countries, the company says.

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