Gap To Expand Old Navy Into China, While Pledging Vaguely To Export Merged Channel Tactics, Too

Riding a string of improved earnings, Gap (NYSE: GPS) said Wednesday (April 17) that it will franchise its Old Navy brand in various international markets, including China.

"Gap Inc. is determined to build upon its product and revenue momentum in 2012, which was achieved as we focused on becoming the world's favorite for American style," said Gap CEO Glenn Murphy. "There is meaningful opportunity for our diverse portfolio of brands to gain share in the $1.4 trillion global apparel market."

Gap said it would start to franchise Old Navy next year "in key international markets. Additionally, (Gap) will consider building upon its success with Gap in China by exploring adding company-operated Old Navy and Banana Republic stores to this important market."

Interestingly, Gap added the all-but-obligatory throwaway reference to merged channel tactics, saying that it would do more than just have bricks-and-mortars operate on their own. As long as they were sharing the blindingly obvious, perhaps they should have said they intend to accept local currency and offer clothes in different colors.

Here is how they phrased their buzzword-laden merged channel intent: "In addition to Gap Inc.'s competitive advantage given its multiple brand, channel and geography model, the company plans to build upon its online success by delivering an industry-leading omni-channel platform for consumers as the retail landscape continues to merge online and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. This end-to-end system, which includes capabilities such as ship-from-store, find-in-store and reserve-in-store, is designed to leverage Gap Inc. channels and resources to drive store traffic and conversion, while meeting the needs of customers who increasingly demand an integrated shopping experience."

It's good to know that they'll also be exporting meaningless marketing jargon overseas. It Gap wants to actually deliver some merged channel capabilities that are not already offered by every other major retailer, then that would be worth a news release.

For more:

- See Wall Street Journal story
- See the full Gap statement

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