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BW Businessworld

GAP Enters India, Partners Arvind Lifestyle

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Describing India as an important emerging market, US fashion brand Gap Inc launched its first exclusive store in India on Thursday (28 May). Gap Inc is one of the many high end fashion brand which in recent years opened its retail chain in India amid increase disposal income of Indian consumers.
In less than a decade, high end fashion brands like Jack and Jones, FCUK, GAS opened their retail chains in India to capitalise on the growing economy. With the arrival of GAP, the premium apparel section will become more competitive. GAP over the years has expanded its operations to nearly 50 countries.  
After having a successful investment in China, the 1969 launched brand took India’s route for expansion. GAP has already surpassed 100 stores mark in China and eyes China as a $1billion market. In India it plans to open 40 stores jointly with Arvind Lifestyle, aiming to increase overall revenue by Rs 1,000 crore.
Ismail Seyis, vice president of GAP, told BW|Businessworld: “We see India as a very important market for us to expand our territory and become a global brand. We will be opening 15-20 stores by the end of 2016 and we expect revenues to surpass Rs 1,000 crore mark in five year.”
GAP has partnered with Arvind Lifestyle to be its franchisee. “We have been providing fabrics to GAP over the years, both Arvind and GAP were waiting for the right time to open our first chain and it took almost five years to complete the market research. Jointly we are planning to open 40 stores in India by 2020,” said J Suresh, MD and CEO of Arvind Lifestyle Brand Ltd.
Asked about the quality and outsourcing of apparels given the facts that they are pricing is 8-10 per cent lower than in the US, GAP and Arvind clarified that they will not compromise with quality. "Though we will be sourcing mainly from Arvind, we will also import from Srilanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam," sais Seyis.
The brand kept mum on questions relating to its financials and partnership agreements with Arvind. 

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