(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Gap Inc. announced Tuesday that it will combine its international operations into one London-based division as part of its global growth strategy.
The company has appointed Stephen Sunnucks head of the international division. Sunnuck and his team will oversee company-operated and franchise stores across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia Pacific and South America. Since joining the company five years ago, Sunnuck, who has 30 years of retail experience, has overseen franchise operation growth for both Gap and Banana Republic, the company said.
Currently, Gap Inc.’s international operations include approximately 530 stores in 30 countries, and with the consolidation the company expects to accelerate its expansion. “Our successful openings in China and Italy have given us further evidence that we have a strong game plan for entering and expanding into international markets through a unique combination of online, specialty retail, outlet and franchise stores,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and C.E.O of the company. “Bringing our four international business units under the leadership of a proven global retail executive like Stephen allows us to leverage resources, operate consistently and grow this business at an accelerated rate.
“As we’ve expanded into new countries and introduced additional brands from our portfolio, our distinctively American aesthetic has resonated very well, everywhere from Milan to Shanghai to Sydney,” Sunnuck said. “We have the flexibility to adapt our formats for each market so that we can gain a larger share of the $1.4 trillion global apparel retail market.”
In other news, the company announced that John Ermatinger, president of Gap Inc.’s Asia Pacific Region, will be in charge of establishing Old Navy International starting this June, with the goal of opening the brand’s first store in Japan by the end of 2012.
Gap Inc. currently operates 3,100 company-owned and 175 franchise stores worldwide.
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