Reliance Retail brings Gap back to Indian shores after 2 years

Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) on Wednesday said that it will bring to India the products of American fashion brand Gap, through a long-term franchise agreement.

With this partnership, Reliance Retail has become the official retailer for Gap across all channels in India. Reliance Retail will introduce Gap’s products through a mix of exclusive brand stores, multi-brand store expressions and digital commerce platforms.

Earlier, Gap had a franchise business relationship with Arvind Fashions, a company from the Lalbhai group. It was mutually terminated in September 2020 due to circumstances after the outbreak of Covid.

The partnership with Reliance Retail is aimed at leveraging Gap’s position as a leading casual lifestyle brand, and the latter’s established competencies in operating robust omni-channel retail networks and scaling local manufacturing and driving sourcing efficiencies.

Founded in San Francisco in 1969, Gap is considered as an authority on modern American style. It continues to build on its heritage grounded in denim and connect with customers online and in company-operated and franchise retail locations globally.

Commenting on the development, Akhilesh Prasad, chief executive officer (fashion & lifestyle), Reliance Retail said, “We believe that Reliance and Gap complement each other in their vision to bring industry leading fashion products and retail experiences to their consumers”.

Adrienne Gernand, managing director (international, global licensing and wholesale) Gap said, “We look forward to growing the Gap business across key international markets. Partnering with regional experts, like Reliance Retail in India, allows us to deliver our relevant, purpose-driven brand to customers around the globe, while continuing to diversify our business portfolio through our partner-based model”.

Last week, Reliance Brands (RBL), another subsidiary of RRVL forayed into food & beverage (F&B) retailing, announcing a strategic partnership with UK-based fresh food and organic coffee chain Pret A Manger. Under the long-term master franchise agreement, the Indian company will launch and build the global sandwich franchise’s brand in the country, with the first expected to be opened in Mumbai before March 2023.

RBL, which marked its global foray by acquiring British toy retailer Hamleys, had signed a joint venture to acquire a 40% stake in Italy-based Plastic Legno SpA’s toy manufacturing business in India.

RBL’s current brand partnerships comprises Armani Exchange, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, Tiffany & Co and Versace, among others. At present, RBL operates 1,937 doors-split (standalone stores) and 1,205 shop-in-shops in India.

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