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.
It comes just days after Reliance announced a plan to open outlets of popular British sandwich and coffee chain Pret A Manger in India. It already has partnerships with several luxury brands including Burberry.
The retailer could open new stores before the festive season across cities, according to people familiar with its plans. The brand could soon be available on Ajio.com, Reliance Retail’s e-commerce platform, besides its direct-to-consumer website.
“Through the long-term franchise agreement, Reliance Retail has become the official retailer for Gap across channels in India. Reliance Retail will introduce Gap’s fashion offerings to Indian consumers through a mix of exclusive brand stores, multi-brand store expressions, and digital commerce platforms,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.
Gap’s previous attempt to woo Indian customers turned sour after the jeans and casual clothing retailer terminated its deal with a unit of Arvind Fashions in 2020 when strict lockdowns resulted in near-zero footfalls across malls and shopping centers.
The move will increase competition in India’s apparel market which is dominated by homegrown as well as foreign brands. Reliance Retail and Reliance Brands, subsidiaries of Reliance Retail Ventures, sell both domestic and premium foreign brands.
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”.
Reliance will sell Gap’s fashion-wear for men, women, and children in India to leverage its reputation as a leading casual lifestyle brand and establish competencies in operating a robust omnichannel retail network, scale local manufacturing and drive sourcing efficiencies, it added.
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’s current brand partnerships comprise 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.