October 16, 2012, 9:24 AM

Gap launches two e-commerce sites in Japan

The Gap and Banana Republic sites offer free shipping on orders over $76.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

The sites share a common shopping cart and checkout system.

Gap Inc. has rolled out e-commerce stores for its Gap and Banana Republic brands in Japan, the company announced last week. Gap, babyGap and Banana Republic products are available on the sites.

Consumers can shop either site and use a single shopping cart and checkout system, Gap says. Gap, No. 22 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide,offers local shipping from within Japan, and free shipping on orders valued at more than 6,000 yen (US$76.26).

This is the latest international e-commerce expansion for Gap. The apparel retailer launched an e-commerce site and opened four physical stores in China in 2010. Gap in the past two years also has launched e-commerce sites in Austria, Estonia, Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Gap’s e-commerce expansion in Japan fits with the strategy it’s outlined, says Paula Rosenblum, a managing partner at research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC. “Gap has already stated that its future growth is going to be in Asia/Pacific,” Rosenblum says. “When it announced the closing of 20% of its U.S. stores, the company cited global expansion as its strategic future. In an omnichannel world, it only makes sense that it would complement those stores with a robust e-commerce offering.” Gap announced the reduction in the number of bricks-and-mortar locations a year ago.

Gap opened its first store in Japan in 1995.

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