Gap Inc. has signed a franchise agreement with Imex Pan Pacific (IPP), one of the largest conglomerates in Vietnam, to open its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in the country.
The company said in a statement Tuesday that it will open its first two Gap stores in Ho Chi Minh City this October, followed by additional outlets in Hanoi next year. Banana Republic will make its debut in late 2012.
"Vietnam provides a uniquely favorable environment in which to open Gap and Banana Republic stores," the company said. "The country boasts a relatively young population, with more than 90 percent of its 86 million people under the age of 65, a rapidly growing upper middle class consumer base, and a strong demand for international retail brands."
Gap said the expansion is part of its global strategy as it is focused on growing its share of the US$1.4 trillion global apparel market. Besides Vietnam, the company also plans to open its first stores in Guam.
"These openings will mark yet another important step for the company as we accelerate our growth into international markets," said Stefan Laban, managing director of strategic alliances for Gap Inc. "Vietnam's rapidly growing economy and Guam's well developed tourism industry both provide ample opportunity to introduce the Gap and Banana Republic brands to local consumers."