Gap returns to the UK and France with new plans - British Herald
September 30, 2022

Gap returns to the UK and France with new plans

Gap Inc. is reinvigorating its European sales strategy, having announced two regional launches, including the migration of the UK’s e-commerce business to Next Total Platform and a standalone e-commerce website in France.

Gap in a statement said it aims to fuel further growth in Europe and capitalise on the opportunity to amplify the brand’s reach to deliver modern American style.

Gap’s joint venture with UK high street giant Next and France’s Hermione People and Brands in France, shows the retailer’s reliance on local savoir faire in order to reach new consumers. Gap previously struggled with its European stores, failing to meet the high street’s need for newness and better fitting core and denim collections, like rivals Zara, Mango, H&M and Uniqlo.

In the UK, customers will have access to Gap’s full assortment of product with the added benefit of Next’s operational prowess and customer service options, which includes a click-and-collect service, free returns to 450 Next stores within the UK, next-day home delivery for 4.50 pounds and free next-day delivery to Next or Gap stores.

The launch of the new website is the second phase of the joint venture between the two companies, following the opening of the first Gap-branded shop-in-shop in Next’s largest West End store on London’s Oxford Street in March.

In France, Hermione People and Brands is providing an omni-channel offering to customers with the launch of their e-commerce channel, the first-ever Gap standalone website to launch in France.

“We are deeply committed to our customers in Europe, and know that it is a market with enormous potential for our brand,” said Adrienne Gernand, Managing Director of International, Global Licensing and Wholesale at Gap Inc. “The growth that we are unlocking through local partnerships with market leading retailers like Next Plc and Hermione People and Brands is allowing us to not only connect with new and existing customers, but to provide them with personalized, service-oriented experiences. Diversification of our business through channel growth and optimisation is key to effectively meeting our customers’ needs and building and maintaining their loyalty.”

Gap said the partnerships are in line with a strategy to work with best-in-class companies who are experts in their space to drive market, category, and channel diversification, accelerate growth, and reach new and existing customers.

What about Gap’s fashion?

In June 2021, Gap said it would shutter its UK stores and cease store operations in France while it reviewed its European business. While Gap has focused on new strategic partnerships that will support operations and customer service, it has yet to reveal a product update that will excite and entice customers. Ultimately it is the quality, desirability and price of the product that drives customers to shop, not free delivery. Gap’s partnership with Kanye West’s brand Yeezy has not been made widely available in Gap stores, meaning the company cannot capitalise on the visibility of this season’s Gap Yeezy Balenciaga collection, one if its most high-profile collaborations.

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