Gap to open first store with Arvind

1483_Sanjay Lalbhai, CMD, Arvind Ltd. (on right) & J. Suresh, MD & CEO, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd at a press conference to announce tie-up with GAP

NEW DELHI (TIP): American clothing and accessories chain Gap is finally set to open its first store in India on Saturday. The company has partnered with Indian textile giant Arvind to open 40 stores in the country and is eyeing sales of around Rs 1,000 crore in the next six years.

By mid next year, Arvind plans to open 10 Gap stores in the top metros by investing around Rs 100 crore, J Suresh, MD of Arvind Lifestyle Brands, said on the eve of Gap’s first store launch in the Capital. Gap, which has been late to enter India compared to other international high street brands such as, Marks & Spencer and Zara, has kept its prices low. “We have Indianised prices of Gap products. A t-shirt will start at around Rs 999,” Suresh said.

“However, it doesn’t mean that we will compromise on quality. The products will be sourced from Gap’s global supply chain.”

Gap, which originally targeted younger generations (the word ‘Gap’ refers to generation gap), has been focusing on international expansion to counter sluggish sales in the US. “Emerging markets are a big opportunity for us,” said Ismail Seyis, VP, Gap Franchise. “We are really encouraged by the high brand awareness here.”

At present, India’s apparel retail market is pegged at around $40 billion and is expected to grow to around $60 billion in the next five years, according to industry estimates. However, Seyis rules out bringing Gap’s other brands, including Banana Republic and Old Navy, to India at the moment.

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