Reliance to bring American fashion brand Gap to India in latest retail bet

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Reliance, India’s biggest retailer, said on Wednesday it had teamed up with Gap Inc to sell the U.S. clothing retailer’s brands locally, marking its latest expansion into the booming consumer market.

Under a long-term franchise agreement, Reliance will sell Gap products through a mix of exclusive-brand stores, multi-brand outlets and e-commerce platforms, the company said in a statement.

“The partnership aims to leverage Gap’s position as a leading casual lifestyle brand,” said Reliance Retail, part of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries conglomerate.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

It comes just days after Reliance announced a plan to open outlets of the popular British Pret A Manger sandwich and cafe chain in India. It already has partnerships with several luxury brands including Burberry.

For Gap, whose brands include Old Navy and Banana Republic, the partnership comes as clothing retailers grapple with weak demand amid soaring inflation.

Gap was looking forward to expanding “in key international markets,” its CEO Adrienne Gernand said in the statement, adding that the deal was part of its effort to diversify its business portfolio through a partnership-based model.

Gap’s previous attempt to woo Indian customers turned sour after the jeans and casualwear retailer ended its deal with a unit of Arvind Fashions in 2020 when strict lockdowns led to near-zero footfall in malls and malls.

Reliance has hundreds of retail stores spanning electronics, groceries and fashion in India, and is also expanding into e-commerce

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