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Banana Republic to follow Gap’s global retail map

Banana Republic is planning a major expansion in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) through as many as 100 additional franchise stores, with the operation managed from the UK.

Drapers has learned that the Gap-owned retailer, which has about 600 stores worldwide, including nine in the UK, and 55 franchise stores, is looking to enter new markets and grow in territories where it already has a foothold, such as South Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Turkey.

It is understood that up to 100 stores could open through a range of franchise partnerships, although the number is dependent on the success of those relationships.

One source told Drapers: “The business is doing really well, so the decision has been taken to push the brand globally, and it will be rolling out on a large scale. Where GAP is, Banana Republic should follow.”

As a result of this push, the business is recruiting for the newly created role of senior market manager to build a strategy and run the operation out of London. The individual will report into the global franchise director of Gap.

A Banana Republic spokeswoman said: “We have no announcements to make about the Banana Republic franchise business at this time.”

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