Thursday, June 30, 2011

Gap & Banana Republic to open stores in Morocco

When Morocco Mall, Africa's largest shopping centre, opens in Casablanca later this year, Moroccans will be able to shop in Gap and Banana Republic stores just like their European neighbours.

summer fashions at Gap

As part of its global expansion strategy, Gap Inc. (which includes both brands, amongst others) announced plans to open its first Gap store in Egypt this July and its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Morocco this October. These store openings will mark the company's first entry into Africa and will house Gap, GapKids and babyGap collections and Banana Republic's accessible luxury clothes and accessories for men and women.

While Gap products have been available to Moroccans through on-line shopping since last year, the company has confidence enough to invest in the country. "We are thrilled to be taking another important step in our franchise business and global expansion strategy by bringing our store experience to consumers in Africa for the first time," said Stephen Sunnucks, president of International, Gap Inc. "The rapidly growing consumer base in North Africa provides an ideal environment to introduce both Gap and Banana Republic to the continent."

The company has signed a new franchise agreement with the Aksal Group to open its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Casablanca, Morocco. Both stores will be located in the city's new Morocco Mall and will open at the same time as the mall's grand opening this October.

Styled as a 'destination mall', the centre will have cinemas, including Morocco's first IMAX theatre, restaurants and an aquarium as well as retail outlets. The finishing touches are being put to the site on the coast, just south of the Hassan II mosque.

Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. The company was founded in 1969 in San Francisco by Doris and Don Fisher.

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