Gap to open first Chile stores

San Francisco -- Gap said Wednesday it will advance its expansion in Latin America with new store openings in Chile in October, and will introduce Gap and Banana Republic stores to Panama and Colombia in 2012.

“We believe substantial opportunity exists in Latin America and our first stores in Chile, Panama and Colombia will allow us to establish a foundation for further growth in this region,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president, International, Gap.

Gap first made its products available to consumers in Chile, Panama and Colombia in 2010 through its international online shipping provider. Stores in these countries will house products from Gap, GapKids and BabyGap and Banana Republic.

Over the last five years, the company has grown its franchise store base to about 200, expanded to 29 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Australia and Africa and currently has franchise agreements in place to bring its brands to 33 countries on six continents.

Under Gap’s existing franchise agreement with Komax, the first Gap store in Chile will open in Santiago on Oct. 14 in the Parque Arauco Mall. A second will open in Concepcion at the Plaza Trebol Shopping Center in November.

A new agreement with Superior Retail will bring Gap and Banana Republic to Panama. The company plans to open the first stores in Panama City in January 2012. The first Columbia stores are expected to open in Bogota in late 2012.