Gap Expands Franchises to Mexico, Egypt, Jordan

San Francisco Gap Inc. said Friday it signed a deal to allow Mexican department store chain Distribuidora Liverpool SA de CV exclusive rights to sell Gap-brand merchandise in franchise stores starting next spring, according to the Associated Press.

Gap had previously worked with Mexico's Liverpool through a wholesale agreement, introducing Gap apparel "in a limited manner" to Mexican consumers.

In a move to further drive international growth, Gap also expanded its agreement with Fawaz Alhokair Group, which recently opened Banana Republic in Saudi Arabia, to open Gap and Banana Republic franchises in Egypt and Jordan over the next five years.

The first Gap stores are expected to open in Egypt and Jordan for the 2008 holiday season. The first Banana Republic stores are expected to open in Jordan in the spring of 2009 and in Egypt for the 2009 fall season.

Since Gap Inc.'s franchise program began two years ago, more than 70 Gap franchise stores and nearly 30 Banana Republic franchise stores have opened.

The company also has plans to open Gap and Banana Republic franchise stores in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Russia over the next 5 years.