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Case Studies - Gap Europe

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the client

Gap, and sister brands Gap Outlet and Banana Republic, are established international brands and when it came to expanding the brands into new European markets they looked to Partners in Retail to provide additional expertise and project management skills to ensure the brands were fully aligned to enter the new countries effectively.

the challenge  

At the time Gap had not entered a new market in Europe since it opened its Gap stores in France some 10 years previously.  Extending the Gap business to Italy brought new challenges of new customers, new regulations and the need to manage and service the business from the European office in London.  In addition the business also decided to open its Gap Outlet stores in Italy and also open two flagship Banana Republic stores in Paris and Rome. 

what we did  

Partners in Retail created 3 brand specific project teams from across the business including key members from every function including property, design, product, legal, finance, distribution and IT.  We then developed a project plan to deliver the successful opening of the stores and then managed the team against this plan adapting and evolving it as circumstances changed.  


Entering a completely new market threw up some interesting challenges particularly with regard to aspects such as trading permits, employment terms, pricing, sales and promotions and health & safety.  Many of these aspects were found to be different not only between the UK and Italy but also between Italy & France.

the results  

Gap opened 2 flagship stores in Milan and Rome, a handful of standard stores in major centres plus a further six Gap Outlet stores across Italy within 12 months which all traded successfully.  In addition Partners In Retail project managed the development and opening of 2 Banana Republic flagship stores in Paris and Milan in the same time period.   

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